A ‘first': Water cooler, fish tank, broken pipe extinguish Pittsfield fire

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PITTSFIELD -- House fires rarely get extinguished like this.

A blaze that broke out in a two-story home at 39 Clydesdale Drive on Wednesday night was put out by water that leaked from three different sources: a water cooler, a fish tank, and a broken water pipe inside a wall that leaked when flames caused the soldering joint to break, according to the Pittsfield Fire Department.

"That's a first," said Deputy Fire Chief Mark Cancilla.

Cancilla said the water from the leaking pipe helped douse the fire because flames had burned through the wall. He said he's seen similar situations involving leaking pipes that have put out fires, but had never seen a blaze where water from a fish tank and a water cooler also made a contribution.

"That's a trifecta," he said.

According to Cancilla, the fire started at 6:49 p.m. when a plastic water cooler located in a front room on the house's first floor malfunctioned. The water cooler melted in the heat.

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The flames may have been extinguished when firefighters arrived on the scene, but the home was filled with smoke, Cancilla said.

Fire Department personnel ventilated the home, and made sure the fire hadn't spread to other areas of the house. He said the home received heavy smoke and water damage, estimated at $35,000.

He said the home, owned by Mark Pizzuto, will be need to cleaned of debris before it is inhabitable again.

"A cleaning contractor will need to come in," Pizzuto said. "The front room will need to be gutted. Everything's blackened throughout the house."

No one was home when the fire broke out, and no injuries were reported.

Pizzuto has fire insurance, Cancilla said.


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