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Fire damages Hampden firewood business

Crews are still working to extinguish a fire at a lumber facility in Hampden.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 4:28 PM EDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 10:29 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Crews are still working to extinguish a fire at a lumber facility in Hampden.

Just the bones remain of what used to be the Kibbe’s Firewood building. Firefighters have been working on containing this fire for more than six hours and they told us several factors have made that a challenging feat.

“I’ll be busy for the next few weeks for sure,” said Kibbe’s Firewood owner Mark Kibbe.

Heavy smoke billowed out of 229 Somers Road in Hampden on Monday after Kibbe’s Firewood building went up in flames. Fire crews told us the call came in a little before 4 p.m. Monday. Hampden Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Farrow said there were a few factors that made putting out the three-alarm fire pretty challenging.

“We do have high winds that are obviously adding to the fire, making it harder to suppress. Having no hydrants, using a tanker shuttle is another factor,” Farrow said.

He said multiple surrounding departments were called in for mutual aid. One employee, Jake Emery, was the last person in the building about 45 minutes before it caught on fire and he told us he’s thankful no one was inside at the time.

“Glad everybody’s safe and we weren’t here, but it’s a big loss for everybody,” Emery said.

Kibbe said his company supplies firewood to all the state campgrounds in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He told us they just relocated to this area in November, so the building isn’t even a year old and the inside was filled with wood.

“That was probably at least two or three weeks of wood in there and to put it into perspective, we deliver a tractor-trailer load of firewood to campgrounds every day. That’s probably at least half a dozen loads in there and we’re talking 15,000 to 20,000 of those little bundles that you see at stores,” Kibbe explained.

Kibbe added that he has a lot of work ahead of him to get the business back on track, but he said, somehow, they’ll move forward!

“We got a lot of customers that need our product and we’re going to make sure we’re going to try and keep them happy and keep the paychecks flowing for all my employees as well,” Kibbe said.

Crews told us they expect to be at the scene until at least early Tuesday morning working to put out this fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.