CUMMINGTON, MA – A fire that began in the garage of a home at 1 Swift River Road on Monday forced local fire officials to close down Route 9 and diverted traffic for miles.
Goshen firefighters responded to the scene with units from Windsor and Plainfield after a second alarm was toned out. Upon arrival, firefighters found the garage fully engulfed in flames that had started to extend into the kitchen.The fire was difficult to contain since the garage roof had collapsed into the building and blocked the garage door. Firefighters used an axe to chop away at the door to gain access to the debris pile that was burning behind it. Water drafted from the nearby Swift River was used to fill portable drop tanks which supplied the engines fighting the fire.
Due to the proximity of the fire to the state highway, State Police assisted firefighters by redirecting westbound traffic up Route 112 in Goshen. Western Mass Electric Company employees detoured eastbound traffic down Route 143 in Cummington.
Published reports indicated that the owner of the home, Elizabeth J. Wade, woke up shortly after 6 a.m. and discovered smoke in her kitchen that was coming from a closet. When she opened the door to the closet, she discovered flames and dialed 911.
The fire was considered contained at approximately 9 a.m. At that time, the Town’s bucket loader was brought in to tear apart what was left of the garage in order to extinguish stubborn hot spots that had continued to burn.
Jerry Bird, owner of the Spruce Corner Restaurant in Goshen, donated and delivered much appreciated sandwiches and coffee to the hard working firefighters at the scene.
Fire crews from Cummington, Goshen, Plainfield, Windsor, and Worthington worked together throughout the morning to contain the blaze. They were joined on the scene by a crew from Highland Ambulance which is automatically dispatched to all structure fires in the region.
Since the fire, Lisa Delisle of Cummington, and her sister Laurie Refeen have organized an effort to collect donations of food, clothing, and household items. Cummington Supply at 18 Main St. is accepting donated items. If that’s not convenient, the sisters have offered to pick up donations. Call DeLisle at 634-0165, or Refeen at (413) 563-6697.