Nine tenants escape fire in Pittsfield duplex

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PITTSFIELD — Nine people and three cats escaped serious injury on Sunday after a two-alarm fire damaged their multifamily home in the Morningside area.

The Pittsfield Fire Department was called to 11-13 Kellogg St., just off Brown Street., at 8:17 a.m. Firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from the first floor apartment at 11 Kellogg St., according to Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Noyes.

"The fire was starting to spread to the second floor, but we were able to contain it and have under control in 15 minutes," he said.

Firefighters remained at the scene until about noontime. Noyes said city fire investigators determined a lit candle accidentally sparked the blaze.

Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said the American Red Cross is helping the tenants find temporary housing as a city building inspector ruled the housing uninhabitable.

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While the nine residents, including at least one child, safely fled the building, Noyes noted that two of the adults were transported by County Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center as a precaution, likely due to smoke inhalation. Two of the three cats rescued were also taken to a local veterinarian for treatment.

Czerwinski said one firefighter, who had been sick during the week, was treated at the scene for difficulty breathing.

In the wake of recent deadly fires in Pittsfield and Sheffield, city fire officials had all available firefighters called to the scene.

"We were confident everyone got out, but Deputy Noyes called a second alarm because we wanted the manpower," Czerwinski said.

Hinsdale and Lenox fire departments provided mutual aid; Hinsdale at the scene and Lenox manned the city's fire headquarters.

Czerwinski added that 11-13 Kellogg St. was equipped with working smoke alarms.


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