Saturday January 5, 2013

ADAMS -- Officials are blaming a faulty circuit for causing the early morning fire that destroyed a Brown Street residence on Friday.

Adams Fire Chief Paul Goyette said the Adams man who owned the home, whom the chief did not identify by name, was not at home at the time of the 5:45 a.m. fire at 18 Brown St. No one was injured.

The Adams Fire Department had the fire under control within an hour.

An investigation by Adams fire personnel and members of the Office of the Fire Marshal determined the fire started in the stairwell near the top of the basement stairs in the center of the house. The spark was created by a fault in a basement circuit feeding a light in that area. Goyette said the fault was "most likely due to poor grounding."

The two-and-a-half-story wood frame structure, which was fully insured, was heavily damaged by flames, smoke and water. Damage left the roof open and the inside of the home exposed to the elements. Goyette said the home is uninhabitable and will likely be torn down.

A neighboring property sustained some heat damage to its siding.

The fire chief said the department received mutual aid from the North Adams Fire Department, Adams Ambulance Service and rehab unit, and Cheshire Fire Department.

A member from the Berkshire County Red Cross was also on scene.

Though only four days into the new year, Goyette said Adams Fire Department has already responded to 10 calls.

In addition to rescuing a man from the Hoosic River on New Year's Day, the department responded to reports of two chimney fires on Thursday.

The fire chief said Friday's Brown Street call was the first structure fire of the year.

"I'm very proud of the way our people did their job in these cases and appreciate the mutual aid from the other towns too," Goyette said.

To reach Jenn Smith:
jsmith@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6239
On Twitter: @JennSmith_Ink