Fire that destroyed West Stockbridge home ruled accidental

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WEST STOCKBRIDGE — A dangerous Swamp Road fire that destroyed a two-bedroom home last week has been ruled accidental, according to the state Fire Marshal's Office.

The fire at 18 Swamp Road was reported about 10:30 p.m. May 3, but the response was delayed for about 15 minutes as the flames detonated ammunition stored in the home.

Firefighters eventually resumed their efforts and extinguished the fire, but by that time the flames had torn through the home.

The fire originated in the back bedroom, where there was a power strip in use and several ashtrays, according to the Fire Marshal's Office.

Investigators were unable to rule out smoking or electrical as a possible cause of the fire, so it is considered undetermined but accidental, the agency said in a statement.

"There was widespread use of multiple extension cords, often daisy-chained together, throughout the home. There was evidence of portable propane tanks used for cooking inside the home," the statement said. "It is illegal to bring propane tanks inside any home. It is unsafe to use extension cords for more than temporary use and very dangerous to daisy chain them together."

Daisy chaining is attaching several extension cords together.

Public records show that the home, owned by Clay Hall, is assessed at $166,900.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@berkshireeagle.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.

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