LENOX, Mass. (WWLP) - A woman rescued from a Lenox elderly housing complex during a fire Thursday night remains in critical condition at a Worcester hospital, and state fire officials now believe the fire was set on-purpose.
The fire at Curtis Housing on Main Street caused extensive damage to one of Berkshire County's great historic buildings, and forced some 59 people from their homes.
Jennifer Meith, spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal's office, notified 22News that the fire was intentionally set, and they know who did it.
"The fire started in a second floor apartment. The fire was intentionally-set. Law enforcement is aware of the location of the person who set the fire and the public is not in danger," Meith wrote in a statement.
Lenox Fire Chief Dan Clifford told 22News that the injured woman had no pulse when firefighters found her, but they were able to revive her with CPR, and she was taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.
Mieth told 22News that the woman was then brought from Pittsfield to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, where she remains in critical condition.
A day after the fire, residents are still not being allowed back into the building. The Red Cross had to help a dozen of the residents find shelter overnight, while the other residents were able to find somewhere else to go. A Red Cross service center will be open at Lenox Town Hall to assist residents on Friday.
Though the fire was confined to two rooms within a single apartment, there is extensive damage inside the building. Looking on the outside, damage can be seen from the second floor up to the fourth floor, debris is on the ground, and police have taped-off the entrance. Mieth says that the total cost of damage is around $500,000.
Still, despite the visible damage, however, much of the massive building appears untouched.
The big brick structure formerly known as the Curtis Hotel is a landmark in downtown Lenox. Its first floor is used for businesses, but the second, third, and fourth floors are age-restricted apartments.