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Pittsfield Fire Damages Montgomery Avenue Duplex By Andy McKeever

Pittsfield Fire Damages Montgomery Avenue Duplex

By Andy McKeever
Used by permission 
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There was significant damage to all levels of the home.
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The fire on Montgomery Avenue started shortly after noon on Tuesday.
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Montgomery was blocked off to traffic for hours Tuesday afternoon.
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There was heavy smoke and fire coming from the building when firefighters arrived.
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The 7 Montgomery Ave side was more significantly damaged that the 9 Montgomery Ave. side.
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The blaze was knocked down fairly swiftly.
Next door neighbor Tony Paredes snapped this photo of the flames bursting through the windows. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Several pets were killed when a fire erupted on the first floor of a duplex on Montgomery Avenue shortly after noontime on Tuesday.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated but appears to be limited mostly to 7 Montgomery Ave. The 9 Montgomery Ave. side suffered "significant smoke damage." 

Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Noyes said the department responded to the report of a structure fire and firefighters arriving on scene could see smoke coming out the building.

A least three windows were blown out by the blaze. Next door neighbor Tony Paredes said the fire expanded quickly. He said he heard a scream and in moments flames burst through the smoke-filled structure's windows.

The fire was contained fairly swiftly with the flames extinguished well before 1 p.m. but there were worries it might have spread through the structure.

"We were a little concerned when we saw smoke coming out of a vent from the basement area," Noyes said.

"Shortly after we had a line to the main body, we sent a crew to the basement. ... That's always a challenge if you have a possible basement fire ... but it turned out to be a little fire."

Everyone was out of the building by the time firefighters arrived. There were a number of pets, however, that apparently succumbed to the fire, including cats, although a snake was saved.

The building and health inspectors are currently evaluating the structure.

"The left side of the duplex has got heavy fire damage in the front room and in the basement," Noyes said. "There is heavy smoke damage throughout the building and some water damage.

"The right side has significant smoke damage, not any water damage, no fire damage that I can see."

According to land records, the home is owned by Melissa Gallagher and Sara Hollander. 

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Smoke Showing Video
SMOKE SHOWING VIDEO                 "Smoke Showing" is a short film that visually demonstrates the dangers and challenges faced by firefighters during a structural fire. This film will serve to educate recruit firefighters, elected officials and the public in fire operations.
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