Photo Gallery | Residents displaced after fire ravages Montgomery Avenue duplex
PITTSFIELD — Seven people, including a child, were left homeless after two-alarm fire heavily damaged their duplex just north of Berkshire Medical Center.
About 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, residents of 7 Montgomery Ave. smelled and saw smoke coming from the basement and called 911, according to the Pittsfield Fire Department.
Firefighters quickly arrived to find the occupants escaped safely — no one was home at 9 Montgomery Ave. — and the two-family residence filling with smoke and flames that spread to the exterior of the dwelling.
After a second alarm was called, crews entered the home from the rear and were able to quickly knock down the main part of the fire, which was under control in less than an hour, fire officials said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Investigators on Wednesday said the blaze apparently began beneath No. 7 in the common basement, causing extensive fire, smoke and water damage to the first floor and basement. The unit also sustained smoke and heat damage to the second floor.
No. 9 had significant smoke damage and some heat damage. The intense heat also melted some of the siding at 5 Montgomery Ave.
No one was injured in the blaze. Three cats died in the fire, but a pet snake survived.
The regional office of the American Red Cross responded to the scene to help the residents with finding a new housing.