A family was displaced and a firefighter injured by a massive fire that ripped through a home in Ware on Friday afternoon caused by a cigarette that had not been properly extinguished.
Witnesses say the flames were so intense they could feel the heat coming off the house.
Saturday morning Ware firefighter Chris Mason confirmed with Western Mass News the fire started from, "Careless disposal of smoking materials - a cigarette."
A charred pile of debris is all that remains of the single-family home after flames tore through the entire building.
Neighbor Heather Scott was outside with her dog when the fire first broke out.
"I just heard a crack and a boom and I turned around and flames were all over the porch," Scott said. "It was just going up in flames really quick."
It was after 5 p.m. Friday when the fire began to consume the house that sits on West Main Street.
"A lot of smoke, a lot of flames," Scott said.
Heavy winds that swept through the area made it difficult for firefighters to contain the flames, which at times were so intense they melted the siding on a home located across the street.
"A lot of people around here were afraid their houses were going to catch on fire," Scott said.
Roughly two hours later the flames were finally put out, but neighbors were shaken up by the entire ordeal.
"I just hope everyone who was in the fire is okay and has a place to stay," Scott said.
Only minor injuries were reported, however Mason says one of their own was injured and had to be transported to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns.
There were two people in the home at the time and they had to be transported as well. The Ware Fire Department reported they are expected to be OK.
The fire not only destroyed the home, but also started two additional brush fires nearby.
The flames extended into adjacent structures "due to high wind gusts and embers." Mutual aid was called in from Palmer, Monson Belchertown, Hardwick and Petersham.
Firefighters stayed on scene for hours into the night before they were able to clear the scene. Damage to the home is estimated at $125,000.
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