PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Pittsfield firefighters were called to 124-126 Appleton Ave. after receiving a report of smoke coming from a house and the smell of electrical fire.
As the fire crew arrived early Wednesday morning, residents were actively evacuating the 4-family, 2-story structure and directing the fire crew to a downstairs apartment with a resident who was not acknowledging their pleas to evacuate.
The fire crew entered the apartment and found a tenant who was attempting to put out the blaze with black smoke from floor to ceiling.
Fire crews discovered a fire atop an aquarium as the source of smoke. The resident was immediately escorted out of the apartment.
The remaining companies assisted with salvage and ventilation. A candle that was burning atop of a resident’s aquarium had melted and ignited the plastic top. The plastic top eventually fell into the aquarium self-extinguishing, but not before thick smoke filled the first and second floor apartments.
There were tenants awake in the two of the three other apartments. Tenants were alerted by detectors at the two front doors and knocked on doors to wake the others, after calling 911. There wasn’t a single functioning detector in any of the three apartments.
Deputy Chief, Neil Myers of Pittsfield Fire Department said, “we cannot stress enough to use caution when burning candles (not when your away or asleep) and having working detectors to wake you up in the night.”
According to Myers, Red Cross provided alternate housing for the one tenant while the others were able to return to their homes. The tenant appeared to have smoke inhalation.