Minimal damage in Western Avenue fire

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BRATTLEBORO -- A fire that originated inside a Western Avenue building early Thursday morning left only one room and part of the roof damaged.

"When the first truck got there, they had a fire showing from one window on the first floor," Brattleboro Fire Chief Mike Bucossi said. "Basically, they made a very aggressive attack and contained it to one fire one room."

That room housed a wood pellet boiler, which serviced the entire building.

The building was totally occupied at the time of the fire, Bucossi said. Eight people were inside of the four apartment buildings. They were alerted to the fire by smoke detectors and were able to leave safely.

According to Bucossi, the fire started where the vent pipe furnace comes off the pellet furnace. It traveled up the wall and into the attic space.

"The fire started around the vent pipe on the wall," he said.

The fire at 301 Western Ave. was called in as a building fire at 3:11 a.m. on Thursday. It was reported as under control by 4:24 a.m. There were no injuries and damage was minimal.

"This building is very large. It used to be an old storage barn and the owner converted it into what is now four apartments," said Bucossi. "The other 90 percent is all storage. He has renovated it over the past few years."

Upgrades to the fire protection inside the building were noted by Bucossi. The owner put fire stops in the wall as well as a partial sprinkler system.

"Two of the sprinkler heads activated and it really helped to contain the fire," said Bucossi. "It made a big difference in the overall outcome of how serious this fire could have been."

Bucossi expected the tenants to be back in the house on Thursday afternoon. Electricians were on the scene in the morning. Once they can get the electrical system fixed, Bucossi said tenants would be allowed back inside.

Red Cross recorded the names and information of tenants in case they were not permitted back inside.

"We are very optimistic they should be in by later this afternoon," Bucossi said on Thursday morning. "None of the living units were damaged and no personal belongings were lost."

Approximately 25 firefighters were at the scene where Keene Fire Department assisted along with Brattleboro Police Department, Rescue Inc. and the Red Cross.

Brattleboro stations were covered by Hinsdale, Putney and Chesterfield.

No challenges were encountered during the incident.

"Everything went well," Bucossi said. "There were a couple pets. They all came out OK."

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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