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A multifamily apartment building in Pittsfield was damaged early Wednesday in a fire


PITTSFIELD — A multifamily building on Appleton Avenue was damaged in a fire early Wednesday morning after authorities say a tenant left a candle burning on top of his aquarium that melted and ignited the plastic top. 

One person was evaluated for smoke inhalation but refused treatment, according to a news release from the Pittsfield Fire Department. 

The fire was reported around 12:30 a.m. at 124-126 Appleton Ave. — a two-story, four-family structure. A resident in a downstairs apartment had fallen asleep with a candle burning on top of his aquarium that eventually melted through the plastic top, filling the first and second floors of the buliding with smoke. The candle later fell into the water and "self extinguished," the fire department said. 

Residents in two other apartments were awake and alerted by smoke detectors in the two front entryways of the building. They called 911 and banged on doors to wake up others in the building.

When firefighters arrived, the resident whose candle ignited the fire was still trying to extinguish the black smoke. Firefighters immediately removed him from the building.

"We cannot stress enough to use caution when burning candles [not when you're away or asleep] and having working detectors to wake you up in the night.

The American Red Cross provided one resident with alternate housing, while the others were allowed to return home.

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