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Williamstown Firefighters Extinguish Third Blaze in Two Days
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:51PM / Wednesday, December 23, 2020
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Firefighters check through the scene of a fire on Hoxsey Street on Wednesday afternoon.



Firefighters had to deal with three blazes in 24 hours. 
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — No one was injured in a three-alarm fire on Hoxsey Street on Wednesday afternoon, the third fire in town in two days.
 
Firefighters from Williamstown, North Adams and Pownal, Vt., extinguished the blaze at the three-bedroom residence at 23 Hoxsey St. in about 30 to 45 minutes, Fire Chief Craig Pedercini said. The Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Department responded to provide coverage at the Williamstown station.
 
No one was home at the time of the Wednesday afternoon fire. The three tenants, students at Williams College, left for break earlier in the week, according to the building's owner, Paul Rinehart, who was on scene to watch the cleanup.
 
Pedercini credited workers from the Williams College Science Center project across the street with helping to get the fire under control.
 
"It was called in, as it turns out, by a couple of construction workers who happened to see the fire," he said. 
 
"Once we got on site, actually, a couple of those construction workers are firemen in another town. One helped us stretch a 4-inch line up to the hydrant. The other one helped us pump the truck while we sent some guys into the fire.
 
"We could have left the truck pumping like that, but to have someone sitting there on it is kind of nice."
 
Pedercini said the fire appears to have started in the kitchen on the first floor of the two-story structure; the cause still is under investigation.
 
"We did have smoke on the second floor as well, coming out the soffits and eaves," Pedercini said.
 
Rinehart said he has owned the home since 1977 and lived there with his family until 2000. He has been renting the home for about 11 years.
 
The Fire Department received the call at 12:41 Wednesday afternoon, providing a cap on a busy 24 hours for the call-volunteer department.
 
On Tuesday, the department responded to a fire traced to a pellet stove in a residence on Simonds Road (Route 7).
 
Wednesday morning, it had a fire in a home on Main Street west of the Field Park traffic circle.
 
"I got called out at about 8:20 this morning," Pedercini said. "We had a little fire in a floor of a bathroom. We were out there for about an hour. It was just us; it was contained pretty quick on our end. But we did have to cut into the floor of the bathroom and the ceiling down below it.
 
"I had just gotten myself home and showered pretty much, and we were right back at it. … It's been a busy couple of days."
 
Northern Berkshire EMS responded to the scene. None of the firefighters on the scene sustained injuries.
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