Hinsdale couple suffer second-degree burns in house fire


HINSDALE -- A husband and wife suffered at least second-degree burns following a house fire on Main Street late Sunday afternoon that left a total of six people homeless, local fire officials said.

The couple, not immediately identified, were initially taken to Berkshire Medical Center before being transported to the burn unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, according to Hinsdale Fire Chief Larry Turner. Their condition was unknown as of late Sunday night. The sister of the injured woman was also taken to BMC for observation and was expected to be released.

Turner said the injured, along with three other unidentified tenants -- including a child -- managed to escape the fire that broke out shortly after 4 p.m. at 15 Main Street. The blaze began in the second floor bedroom of the burned woman, who was pulled to safety by her spouse, said the fire chief.

"When we arrived, there was heavy smoke and fire coming through the windows of the bedroom," Turner said. "We got a good hit on it and about a half hour later we had it under control."

The Hinsdale Fire Department, assisted by Dalton and Becket firefighters, remained at the scene until 9 p.m., cleaning up and making certain the fire was out. Turner said the damage was confined primarily to the second floor bedroom and attic.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the state Fire Marshall Office and Hinsdale fire officials.

The two-family home owned by Dawn Frissell is insured, but it's unknown the estimated cost of the fire damage.

Turner says the Berkshire County Chapter of the American Red Cross was called to assist the fire victims with clothing and shelter, but the four tenants not hospitalized planned to stay with family or friends.

Meanwhile, a Dalton family was displaced from their home Sunday evening, following an apparent electrical fire, local fire officials said.

At 5:47 p.m., the Dalton Fire Department responded to a report of smoke in the basement at 21 Crane Ave., the Lee family residence.

Upon arrival, firefighters found thick smoke in the basement that started spreading throughout the house, according to Dalton Fire Chief Gerry Cahalan. He said Daniel and Angie Lee and their infant child escaped unharmed, but had to spend the night with relatives.

Since a number of Dalton firefighters were already helping battle a house fire in Hinsdale, Cahalan called for mutual aid, with Windsor and Lanesborough fire departments arriving on the scene.

While the fire was quickly doused, firefighters were at the scene for more than two hours ventilating the two-story structure and cutting through part of the floor between the basement and first floor to make sure the fire was out.

Cahalan says the preliminary cause is an electrical problem, but the fire remains under investigation.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233


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