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Great Barrington firefighters respond to one-room fire at abandoned Searles School

The Great Barrington Fire Department responded to a fire on Sunday at the former Searles School, an unoccupied building on Bridge Street.

The department received a call at 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon about smoke coming from the school, located at 79 Bridge St. Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger said the fire was contained to one room in the school and was quickly brought under control.

Burger said there were no injuries as a result of the fire.

Great Barrington Police Chief Paul Sorti said the cause of the fire would be investigated. Since utilities have been cut off in the building, he said the source of the fire was “definitely suspicious.”

The school has been closed since 2006, but was targeted for development into an 88-room hotel as recently as 2019. It was originally built in 1898.

Matt Martinez can be reached at mmartinez@berkshireeagle.com.

News Reporter

Matt Martinez is a news reporter at The Berkshire Eagle. He worked at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, graduated Marquette University. He is a former Report for America corps member.

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