Two injured in fire that forced evacuation of Lee senior housing complex


LEE — Two people were injured in a fire early Monday that forced the evacuation of a senior housing complex on Main Street that has temporarily displaced four residents.

Shortly after 6 a.m., the tenant of a first-floor apartment at Hyde Place called 911 to report her bedroom was on fire, according to Lee Fire Chief Alan Sparks.

Lee police officers and firefighters quickly arrived and evacuated the building, which contains 41 units. The woman whose apartment caught fire received burns to her forearms and a male guest suffered smoke inhalation, Sparks said. They were transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

"They are lucky they woke up when they did and saw the fire," the fire chief said.

Their conditions were unclear late Monday; no other injuries were reported.

The fire, which was confined to the apartment, was quickly doused, but six other first floor units had water and smoke damage.

"The smoke was so thick it spilled out into the hallway and set off an alarm and the sprinklers," Sparks said.

The cause of the fire appears to be accidental, but remains under investigation by the state Fire Marshal Office and Lee fire officials.

The Lenox Fire Department assisted at the scene, while the Dufour Bus Co. and County Ambulance provided transportation for the displaced tenants to the Lee Senior Center on High Street, while emergency crews were on the scene.

The majority of the residents were allowed back into their apartments later in the day, according to Elton Ogden, executive director of Berkshire Housing Development Corp.,which manages Hyde Place.

Four of the apartments remain uninhabitable, Ogden said. Three of the four displaced residents are staying with family and one is being housed in a hotel.

Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.


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