Update: Pittsfield fire displaces family


PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield family of four has been displaced after a fire broke out at their Rhode Island Avenue home Wednesday morning.

The Newton family had already left for work and school when a fire sparked in the bathroom of their 1.5-floor Cape style home at 30 Rhode Island Ave.

Deputy Fire Chief Michael Polidoro said when the initial call came in, around 8:26 a.m., it was reported that a person was still inside the home.

"It turned out to be unfounded, which takes a lot of stress out of the incident," the deputy chief said.

Members of the Pittsfield Fire Department arrived on the scene 2 1/2 minutes later, due to the fact there happened to be an additional fire engine driving through the area. The fire was quickly extinguished and firefighters were able to locate the two family cats alive and well at the scene.

Members of the family arrived home to receive the news shortly after the fire was put out. They have been relocated to stay with other family members while their home is being repaired.

While an ambulance was on standby at the scene, no one was injured. Pittsfield Police Department detoured traffic around the area and electric utilities were cut off from the home as a safety precaution.

Polidoro said the fire appears to have originated from an electrical malfunction of an appliance, either a hair dryer or curling iron, and is considered accidental.

The incident caused an estimated $100,000 in damages, according to the homeowner. This includes smoke and water damage to the whole structure and fire damage to the second floor. The home is insured.

Though the house fire scene was cleared by 10:48 a.m., firefighters were called back to Rhode Island Avenue on Wednesday afternoon for an unrelated small kitchen fire at another address. No major damages were reported.


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