Illegal burn rekindles, damages shed in Pittsfield

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PITTSFIELD >> City fire officials are urging residents to burn outside responsibly — when allowed — in the wake of an illegal outdoor fire on Monday night that threatened a home near Silver Lake.

A red flag warning was in effect in Berkshire County on Tuesday, meaning all outdoor burning was banned due to the tinder dry, breezy conditions of the last several days.

The fire off Fourth Street on Monday was the result of an outdoor burn in an open pit — supposedly extinguished during the day — that rekindled, according to the Pittsfield Fire Department.

About 9:15 p.m., Firefighters were called to the home at 8 Lanckton Court, where they found a storage shed attached to the house on fire. The flames were quickly knocked down, but not before the shed sustained damage, fire officials said. The house wasn't damaged and no one was hurt.

Pittsfield Deputy Fire Chief Mark Cancilla said the fire was some 20 feet from the building instead of the minimum 75 feet state fire regulations mandate for outdoor controlled burns.

One of the residents told fire officials she thought the fire was out from earlier in the day.

"Make sure you have ample space between a structure and your fire, which is hard to do in parts of the city," he said. "Make sure you have a hose nearby and thoroughly soak the fire — if you see smoke, it's still hot."

Local fire officials remind residents to obtain a burn permit from their local fire department, or in the case of Pittsfield and 14 other Berkshire municipalities, online at www.bcburnpermits.com. The website list the state regulations for the outdoor burning season that runs from Jan. 15 through April 30 — a week from Saturday.


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