Fire destroys house on West Main Street in Chester

Fire destroys house on West Main Street in Chester
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 6:40 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2022 at 11:23 AM EDT
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CHESTER, Ma. (WGGB/WSHM) - An early morning fire destroyed a house on West Main Street in Chester on Thursday.

Chester Assistant Fire Chief Henry Fristik called a two-and-a-half story home a total loss after it was gutted by the fast-moving fire.

“It’s been pretty rough. Initial arrival, we found [the home] fully involved in the front side of the structure, both on the first and second floor,” Fristik explained.

Firefighters were dispatched after receiving a call shortly after 12:15 a.m. The three-alarm fire drew in personnel from five different departments and took more than nine hours to knock down. One of the main reasons: firefighters could not access the flames from the inside.

“The actual getting into the interior was next to impossible due to a lot of accumulated items in the home and we just couldn’t get in to knock it down all the way and had to fight exterior the whole time,” Fristik noted.

When Western Mass News arrived at the scene, there were small flames coming out of the back edge of the house and smoke shooting at least 50 feet in the air. Luckily, no one was inside the home at the time of the fire and no one was injured. Fristik also said no other structures or vehicles were in harm’s way.

“All of the surrounding structures and exposures were safe. There are some cars on both sides and a camper. We managed to save all of that. That’s all been protected and it’s good to go,” Fristik added.

Firefighters from Russell, Blandford, Huntington, and Becket all assisted with the morning-long effort. Trucks had to go up and down Route 20 to fill up from a nearby hydrant and a stream by Blandford Road. Only one lane of traffic was getting through while firefighters were working to knock down the flames. As long and tiring as the day was for these first responders, Fristik is grateful for the extra hands and tankers.

“We’re so supportive of our mutual aid partners. We just appreciate that they come and we do the same for them. We’re thankful to have them,” Fristik noted.

An excavator was brought in to tear down the rest of the structure and the cause of the fire is under investigation.