West Stockbridge woman in burn unit after fire levels home


WEST STOCKBRIDGE -- A 78-year-old town woman who lost her house in a conflagration was under treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital Burns Center on Saturday, according to the fire department.

The woman, who authorities did not identify, suffered second-degree burns when a two-alarm fire ravaged her home at 106 West Center Road on Friday night.

West Stockbridge Fire Chief Peter Skorput reported the woman's condition as "stable" Saturday night and said "she's going to be alright but will need to go through several operations."

Called to the scene at 8 p.m. on Friday, roughly 22 firefighters from six area municipalities arrived to a fully involved blaze. The small house could not be salvaged.

"There's nothing left but a cellar hole with a couple of walls sticking out," Skorput said.

Neighbors phoned in the emergency after the woman escaped the fire and fled to a nearby home, suffering burns to 50 percent of her body in the process.

"She got burned pretty bad," Skorput said.

Richmond Ambulance transported the woman to Berkshire Medical Center, where she was immediately transferred to a second ambulance headed for the Boston hospital and burn center.

In addition to Richmond and West Stockbridge responders, Egremont, Housatonic, Alford and Canaan, N.Y. sent men, equipment and vehicles to the scene.

Tankers shipped water to the scene from the nearest source, 1 1/2 miles away. The firemen continued to work there until nearly 1 a.m., and some returned to the home for another four hours Saturday morning after the flames rekindled.

Skorput said a state fire marshal who observed the scene believed the fire's cause to have been electrical. The marshal will return Monday to make a final determination.

To reach Phil Demers:
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On Twitter: @BE_PhilD


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