Pittsfield home damaged by fire hours after being ruled unlivable

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Photo Gallery | Fire at 1173 North Street in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD — An upper North Street home was heavily damaged by fire early Monday — hours after the city found the building was uninhabitable.

About 3 a.m., the Pittsfield Fire Department responded to 1173 North St. and found heavy smoke and flames shooting from the back of the multi-family residence, according to Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Garner.

As the fire intensified, a second alarm was called and all 18 city firefighters on duty were brought in to battle the blaze, taking them about 30 minutes to bring under control, said Garner, who noted the fire likely had been burning for some time, before it was reported by a passerby.

"These type of fires late at night or early in the morning often don't get noticed right away," he said.

A city firefighter suffered the only injury, a hurt shoulder, and was treated and released from Berkshire Medical Center.

The building was unoccupied as the lone tenant was forced to vacate the multi-family home after a pick-up truck driven by an alleged drugged driver crashed through a guard rail and side-swiped the structure around 6;30 p.m. Sunday.

The tenant wasn't hurt, but forced to leave as a city inspector called to the scene found multiple building code violations unrelated to the crash and ordered the landlord, Taylor Bartlett, to close the building and find temporary housing for the tenant.

Garner said Eversource had shut off electricity service to the home prior to the fire, which remains under investigation.

An investigator and canine accelerant dog with the State Fire Marshal's Office have been called in to help local fire officials determine the cause of the blaze.

Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.


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