Fire Chief: 'Great save' at Mount Snow Training Center
"It was a great save," West Dover Fire Chief Rich Werner told the Reformer at the scene.
He said he did not think much fire got inside the building and the heat from it likely triggered the sprinkler system.
Mount Snow employees used about 20 fire extinguishers as fire departments came to the scene. That helped keep it contained, Werner said.
The fire was upgraded to a second alarm at about 5:45 p.m. when flames were reported. That also ensured enough firefighters and trucks would be at the scene.
The building, which was empty during the off-season, is owned by Mount Snow Academy and the Mount Snow Ski Club, not the company that owns the ski resort where the building is located.
David Bain, a security guard at Mount Snow, said he was checking the inside of the building when he smelled smoke.
"I didn't really think anything of it," he said.
Bain then moved towards the back of the building, where he said he noticed the bottom of a wooden staircase was "completely consumed" by flames. The fire was "maybe barely" touching the building, he added.
Asked to describe the building's interior, Bain said, "There's a lot of water damage on this back side I'd say."
"It all happened so fast," he said.
Bain had called 911 and alerted staff at Mount Snow. Jamie Storrs, communications manager at the resort, said staff members ran to the scene with fire extinguishers.
"While three of them then worked with extinguishers to knock down the flames, several other staff helped by shuttling in fresh extinguishers, until they had used roughly 20 in total and were able to bring the fire under control until firefighters took over and were able to fully extinguish it and render the scene safe," Storrs said. "We are very proud of the quick thinking and fast response on the part of our staff, who put their company fire safety training to use and prevented what could have been a much larger and more damaging fire."
Werner said the fire was considered accidental.
The West Dover Fire Department was joined at the scene by NewBrook Fire and Rescue and departments from East Dover, Whitingham, Wilmington and Wardsboro. Brattleboro and Stratton departments were on their way with ladder trucks but were called back before arriving.
Storrs said Mount Snow thanked the departments for their "quick response," which saved the building.
"We look forward to seeing the Mount Snow Ski Club complete the work needed on the facility, and get it reopened for the upcoming winter season, as they are such a vital part of the Mount Snow community," he added.
Representatives from the academy and ski club could not be reached on Wednesday.
Reach staff writer Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or @CMaysBR.
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