House fire prompts road closure in Stockbridge

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STOCKBRIDGE — A home on Route 102 was mostly destroyed Friday by a two-alarm fire that started in a chimney stove pipe, according to town Fire Chief Ernest "Chuck" Cardillo.
"The house is most likely totaled, but we saved the master bedroom and we saved three cats," Cardillo said. The fire took about three hours to extinguish.
Shortly after 10 a.m., the department received calls from both the homeowner and a passerby that the house was on fire, he said.

Upon arrival, Cardillo said he saw heavy flames issuing from the roof around the chimney pipe. Firefighters from Lee, Lenox, Great Barrington and Hinsdale arrived, and had the fire under control by about 1:15 p.m.

But before that there was some trouble with a nearby hydrant, which stopped producing water.
"I don't know if it was frozen, but that cost us about 10 minutes," he said.

Cardillo said firefighters had to switch to a hydrant at the town highway garage across Route 102, forcing the closure of the road, a main artery, for more than four hours between Church Street and Route 183 near the Berkshire Botanical Gardens.

"We had a 5-inch supply line across the road to get to the hydrant, and we couldn't have traffic going over it."

The 2,083-square-foot, 3 bedroom home, which is at 4 West Stockbridge Road, sits at the top of a long driveway.

Built in 1987, it was purchased in 2015 by Aaron Dubois and Meghan McLaughlin for $267,000.

Cardillo said the American Red Cross had been called in for assistance, and helped the residents find a temporary place to stay.

He also said the state fire marshal ruled that the fire had started in the chimney stove pipe that extends up from a wood stove inserted into a fireplace.

Cardillo said he was grateful to firefighters from Sheffield who manned the Stockbridge fire station during the incident.
When asked what was challenging about fighting this particular fire, he said it was something common for volunteer fire departments everywhere.
"Manpower was a big issue in the beginning," he said. "It's hard to get manpower that time of day. Most department numbers are down, and during the day [firefighters] are working."

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter at @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.

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