Hancock's Powder Hounds Restaurant building hit by fire

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HANCOCK - It took officials from a handful of towns about two hours Wednesday to control a structure fire at Powder Hounds Restaurant, 147

Brodie Mountain Road. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

The call came in shortly after 2 p.m., after the restaurant bartender, Paul Ruscio, pulled into the employee parking lot and noticed smoke billowing out from upstairs that he assumed was either from a dryer or kitchen appliance, he said. He gathered the owner, Fred Kruger, and another gentleman from the basement to investigate.

They opened the door to investigate and were met with foul-smelling smoke, Ruscio said.

"Something nasty was coming out of there," he said. "We scrambled out."

Fire officials from Lanesborough, Hancock, Hinsdale, Williamstown and Stephentown, N.Y., arrived shortly after the call and saw the smoke coming out of the west end of the building, Hancock Fire Chief Dave Rash said. The blaze was contained to the upper-level office, he said. An investigation will be conducted to find what exactly happened.

"It's just mostly steam now," Rash said. "We'll be here most of the night."

One Stephentown firefighter was taken to Berkshire Medical Center after reportedly having an excess of carbon monoxide in his blood, Rash said.

The fire took place before the restaurant's operational hours, so nobody besides the three employees were in the building at the time. No other injuries were reported, though Ruscio said his lungs were hurting from the smoke.

The intermittent showers did little for the building's indoor fire and made the area wet and muddy. The building is older, but has gone through many interior renovations which caused obstacles to get to the fire. Firefighters would hack into the ceiling using a chainsaw to gain entry that way.

"It's been real difficult," Rash said.

Traffic was diverted around Brodie Mountain Road during the fire. Powder Hounds is located just at the entrance of Jiminy Peak and is open every day except Tuesday.

To reach Adam Poulisse: apoulisse@berkshireeagle.com, or (413) 496-6214. On Twitter: @BE_Poulisse.


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