Pittsfield firefighters snuff out kitchen fire they noticed on separate call

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PITTSFIELD — A structure fire that firefighters accidentally discovered on Saturday while responding to another call caused fire, smoke and water damage to a second floor apartment at 280 Francis Ave., according to Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Garner.

The blaze, reported at 5:40 p.m., also caused water damage to the first floor. The fire was caused by unattended cooking on a stove, Garner said.

No injuries were reported. Damage to the two-story, three-unit wood-frame apartment building is estimated at $20,000.

Firefighters were responding to a different report of smoke coming from an outside fire when they noticed smoke coming from a second floor window at 280 Francis Ave., Garner said.

"It's just happenstance that we stumbled upon a structure fire," Garner said. "The smoke was showing through the windows."

The resident of the second-floor apartment had been cooking when she left to visit the apartment next door, Garner said. When firefighters arrived on the scene, she was unaware her apartment was on fire.

"The pan or the stove is what caused the fire," Garner said.

When firefighters entered the second floor apartment they found the floor space on fire. Firefighters extinguished the blaze by stretching a hand line to the second floor.

Three engine companies, and a ladder truck responded to the scene. All of the tenants escaped unharmed and were provided with alternative housing arrangements by the building's owner.

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