Officials 'pretty confident' Pittsfield fire was deliberately set

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PITTSFIELD — A four-alarm fire that destroyed a two-family house early Monday has been deemed "suspicious," according to city fire officials.

No one was injured in the fire, which began on the front porch and went through the roof of the two-story home at 13-15 Robbins Avenue, said Pittsfield Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski.

Accelerant-sniffing dogs brought to the scene by the state Fire Marshal's office this morning registered a "couple of hits" on the front porch, Czerwinski said.

"They're pretty confident it was a set fire," he said.

The house's two occupants were not home when the fire broke out, Czerwinski said. Two firefighters suffered dehydration while battling the blaze, he added.

The fire was reported at 3:40 a.m., and took about 90 minutes to bring under control. Firefighters originally entered the structure, but were ordered out of the building when they couldn't access an interior stairway into the attic, Czerwinski said. They then fought the blaze from a defensive position outside the structure.

Five engine companies, two ladder trucks and a command vehicle responded to the scene. All 18 on-duty firefighters, some off-duty personnel, and five Dalton firefighters were involved in battling the blaze.

The damage was so severe that the Building Inspector's office has recommended that the home be destroyed, Czerwinski said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Pittsfield Fire Department at 413-449-9764, the Pittsfield Police Department at 413-449-9723 or the Police Department's detective bureau at 413-448-9705.


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