PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – The Pittsfield Fire Department was dispatched for a reported building fire at the Epworth Arms apartments around 9:55 p.m. Monday night. A passerby who called in the fire said they could see fire and smoke coming from a first-floor window.
While fire crews were on their way to the scene, dispatchers told them the fire alarms were now going off. Upon arrival, firefighters found an active fire in apartment 101 on the first floor, with heavy smoke spreading through the first-floor hallway.
Fire crews quickly knocked down the blaze and searched the large 3-story structure for any fire spread. There are 35 apartments in the building, according to officials, with 45 people living in them altogether.
The majority of the residents were told to stay in their apartments, with those already out of their apartments taken outside. The building was ventilated and eventually, all occupants were allowed to return to their apartments.
Pittsfield Fire Department fire investigation unit determined the cause of the fire to be careless cigarette smoking inside the apartment. The passerby’s early cell phone report and the quick and efficient response by Pittsfield Fire Department helped keep a potential high-loss tragedy contained to one apartment with no injuries to either residents or firefighters.
The lone apartment was condemned. Red Cross responded to assist with alternate housing.