Dalton Fire Jan. 31 2021

Crews responded Sunday morning to a report of a fire at 800 Main St. in Dalton, home of Crane & Co. A dispatcher said at 9:30 a.m. that a fire had been extinguished. 

DALTON — A morning fire at the company that makes the nation's currency paper was extinguished Sunday, after bringing out crews from around the area. No one was injured.

Loose cotton material ignited near a boiler in a Crane & Co. building at 800 Main St. that prepares raw materials for eventual use in the paper-making process, according to Fire Chief Gerald Cahalan. 

Though an investigation into the cause continues, Cahalan said the dry cotton material appears to have been a factor and led a nearby wall to catch fire. Crews assembled a hose line and were able to fight the fire from within the building. 

"It was really, really hard to get to," Cahalan said. That was because of the layout inside the factory structure. A Dalton ladder truck was positioned above the structure in case the fire broke through, the chief said. 

Crane's operations are spread out along a branch of the Housatonic River in Dalton. The location of Sunday's fire was just west of Depot Street, near the intersection of routes 8 and 8A. 

An initial call reporting "smoke and flames" came in at 8:22 a.m., when temperatures in Dalton were in the single digits. Cahalan said it took about two hours to clear the scene.

A crew from Lanesborough backed up the Dalton station. Firefighters from Windsor and Hinsdale assisted at the fire. In all, the response brought out about two dozen firefighters. A County Ambulance team set up an aid station.

Crane, also known as Crane Currency, is Dalton's largest employer and has held contracts to manufacture paper for the government since 1879. 

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.