Fire Chief Frank Speth III says the state fire marshal was called to investigate the blaze.
NEW ASHFORD, Mass. — A two-story storage building at the old Brodie Mountain Ski Resort burned to the ground on Wednesday morning.
"There was some equipment in there. I don't know what equipment was in that building, but there is no power. There is no gas going into the building," said Fire Chief Frank Speth III. "So it is suspicious at this time and the state fire marshal is on scene. And there will be a full investigation."
Speth said the blaze was reported at 7:17 a.m. and the structure was fully involved when firefighters arrived. But they initially had difficulty reaching the scene because the road into the resort had to be plowed.
The once popular ski area — Johnny Cash filmed scenes there for a television movie 40 years ago — closed to skiing in 2002 and tubing a few years later. The property has been sold a couple of times and renamed Snowy Owl but has been dormant for years. A plan to build timeshares there never took off.
The building is tucked back a long way from the highway and the area is fenced off. Speth said there had been reports of squatters in the vacant buildings.
Numerous fire companies from the around the region were called in for mutual aid from as far away as Stamford and Pownal, Vt. They also included Cheshire, Dalton, Hancock, Lanesborough, Richmond, Williamstown and Windsor, as well as the Adams Fire Wardens and the Hinsdale rehab bus. Northern Berkshire EMS was also on the scene.
Speth said mutual aid tankers were critical in getting water to the scene and that it took about an hour to contain the fire. According to scanner reports, the building collapsed sometime around 8 a.m.
"There are no concerns of fire spreading anywhere. We got a great amount of snow here. So we're just basically containing the fire itself, and you can see this is the result," said the chief.
What was left was burned and blackened debris, with some smashed equipment visible. Another smaller building near the scene was not affected. The marshal and a state trooper were looking over the smoking ruin.
Speth said the fire marshal was on the scene very quickly, within a half hour or so.
"Basically, it's very tough to fight a fire of this size, based on where the property is located," he said. "And like I said, being able to get water up to the fire is also a complication."
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