PITTSFIELD -- Nearly 25 years after fire destroyed the family-owned bakery that was later rebuilt, another two-alarm fire has devastated the Kent Avenue establishment.

It took firefighters nearly six hours on Friday to control a fire at Lampiasi's Bakery at 53 Kent Ave. The cause is still under investigation, but at this time it does not appear to be suspicious, Deputy Fire Chief Mike Polidoro said.

He said the fire was first reported in the ceiling above the floor-to-ceiling ovens on the first floor.

Damage to the bakery is "pretty extensive," Polidoro said -- between $500,000 to a million-dollar loss.

"It was a nasty fire," Polidoro said.

As Pittsfield firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze Friday afternoon, the Lampiasi family, their friends and workers, could only stand by watching smoke and flames pour out of the windows of the building.

"It's horrible," said Chris Lampiasi, 26, who along with his brother Shawn, 31, work at the business owned by their father, also named Shawn.

The brothers were at work in the bakery just before 2 p.m. when they smelled smoke. They said they went up to the second level and felt heat coming from the floor. They returned to the ground floor and opened the drop ceiling.

"The oxygen took and the flames just went," said Chris Lampiasi. He and his brother grabbed a fire extinguisher, but it was "too late."


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They said everyone there was able to get out safely.

"There were only four of us working. Everyone got out. We were all on the first floor near the door," said the younger Shawn Lampiasi. "There was no danger."

The second floor, where equipment and supplies are kept, appeared to have suffered the heaviest damage.

Polidoro called firefighters out of the building just minutes before the second floor caught fire, he said. Flames began shooting out of the side of the business that abuts Seymour Street, prompting the firefighters to begin using high-pressure hoses to fight the blaze from the outside. The fire was under control just before 8 p.m.

In January 1989, another two-alarm blaze that began in the basement, destroyed much of the building. Vowing to begin again, the elder Shawn Lampiasi re-opened the bakery three months after the fire.

An Eagle article from that time shows him holding the first batch of cookies baked there after he rebuilt his business. The Lampiasi family bought the business from Walter Komuniecki in the early 1980s, according to Eagle records.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx

View more photos here.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx