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Residents escape Orange home fire

  • Fire crews extinguish a kitchen fire at 39 West Main St. in Orange Wednesday night, March 7, 2018. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

  • Fire crews extinguish a kitchen fire at 39 West Main St. in Orange Wednesday night, March 7, 2018. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

  • Fire crews extinguish a kitchen fire at 39 West Main St. in Orange Wednesday night, March 7, 2018. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

  • Fire crews extinguish a kitchen fire at 39 West Main St. in Orange Wednesday night, March 7, 2018. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—



For the Athol Daily News
Thursday, March 08, 2018

ORANGE — Dark smoke spilled from beneath the eaves of 39 West Main St., tainting the cold air with a putrid stench as firefighters worked through gently falling snow to extinguish the remnants of a kitchen fire.

“When we got here, we found the kitchen fully involved with fire. Right now, we have some mutual aid companies on scene. We’re still opening up the building and extinguishing pockets of fire,” said Orange Fire Chief James Young just after 7 p.m., about an hour after the 9-1-1 call came in Wednesday night. The fire moved from the kitchen into the 1½-story house’s attic, prompting an emergency response from multiple surrounding towns.

A few bystanders stood near police tape. Among them was Becky Kaiser, a resident of the house, who said all seven occupants of the two-family home escaped unharmed.

Young noted, “We did rescue one dog from inside the building that the homeowners could not evacuate prior to us getting here.”

Behind him, firefighters poured water from an extended ladder onto a blackened portion of the roof. Occasionally, orange flames licked into the darkness.

Fire departments that responded to help included those from Athol, Erving, Phillipston, New Salem and Warwick, which provided station coverage for Orange. Woods Ambulance was also called as a precaution. Young noted that Wednesday’s nor’easter posed challenges for fire companies responding from adjacent hill towns, but nothing that prohibited the initial attack on the fire.

“Some mutual aid companies coming in had a slippery ride on the way, but it did not cause any problems as far as the fire attack. It was a little bit of a delay for our outside and out of town companies,” Young said.


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