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Fire destroys house in Becket

BECKET — Smoke swirled in the frigid air Saturday afternoon as a structure fire destroyed a two-story single-family home at 576 Quarry Road, according to Fire Chief Paul Mikaniewicz.

Firefighters and emergency personnel from four Berkshire communities responded to the blaze, which was reported at 12:23 p.m. Mikaniewicz said at the scene that the fire was fully involved when he arrived and that part of the right side of the house already was destroyed. The structure's second floor collapsed onto the first floor.

"Oh, yes," Mikaniewicz said when asked if the house was a total loss. 

Based on the amount of damage on the right side of the house, firefighters believe the blaze started there, Mikaniewicz said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Mikaniewicz said on Monday. He didn't believe foul play was involved.

The house has been owned since 2003 by Brenda L. Valente and Clinton E. Hawley, according to Massachusetts Land Records. No one was home when the fire erupted, and no injuries were reported.

An engine on one of the firetrucks began to freeze up, but Mikaniewicz said firefighters did not experience any other difficulties battling the blaze in the intense cold.

"No more than usual in this kind of weather," he said.

Firefighters drew water for their hoses from a nearby pond on Bonnie Rigg Road.

"They were trying to find anything they [could] for a water source," Mikaniewicz said.

The Becket Fire Department received mutual aid from Chester, Hinsdale and Otis. 

Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6224.

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