Fire fighters battle electrical fire, contain flames to single unit

by Town Reminder

Turley Publications Staff Photo by Kristin Will
Early Saturday morning a fire broke out in the kitchen of a Village Green apartment. The fire’s flames burned so hot windows in the apartment blew out.

Fire fighters battle electrical fire, contain flames to single unit
By Kristin Will
Staff Writer,

SOUTH HADLEY – Multiple kitchen appliances plugged into a single power strip is what officials deem the most likely cause of an apartment electrical fire early Saturday morning.
Fire District 2 was called to the Village Green 18-unit apartment complex, located at 5 Hadley Street near the Village Commons and the Yarde House, at 1:42 a.m. Saturday morning. A single unit on the third floor in the back of the complex had caught fire, beginning in the kitchen on a counter top. Fire District 2 Chief David Keefe said the fire was hot enough “to blow out the windows.”
An adjacent porch area just outside the kitchen also caught fire, which eventually spread to the attic.
Fire District 1 was called for their ladder truck. All of their off-duty fire fighters were called in and the entire department was on standby. Granby was called for a pump truck and Holyoke was called for an additional ladder truck. They were asked to be prepared to help South Hadley fight the fire if it expanded into additional attic space or into the roof structure.
Keefe called the fire fighters’ entry “very aggressive and very quick.” Fire District 2 fire fighters extinguished the flames inside the apartment and porch, and then began to move into the attic space by pulling down the ceiling to access the flames.
Simultaneously, Fire District 1 fire fighters were sent to the roof to cut a hole in order to allow the fire burning in the attic to partially escape. The fire was under control approximately 20 minutes after the initial call. Fire fighters remained on scene until 4:40 a.m.
Limited smoke and water damage occurred to the apartment unit directly below, inhabited by a male and female. Very limited water damage occurred to the apartment unit below that.
The fire displaced two occupants of the affected apartment, a male and a female. The owner of the apartment complex, a South Hadley resident, is also the owner of various hotels in Hampshire County, said Keefe. He immediately made rooms available at those hotels for those who needed or wanted a place to stay. The American Red Cross out of Springfield also provided some assistance.
The State Fire Marshall’s office was called and an arson investigator arrived at the scene to determine the cause and origin of the fire. Keefe said to their best analysis, the number of appliances plugged into a single power strip was the cause.
He credits the fire fighters’ hard work for the fire being limited to a single apartment unit and corresponding porch. “It was an exceptional job,” he said. “Basically all the stars aligned. We were very fortunate.”