1 person dead after fire on East Street in Northfield

One person is dead following a weekend fire in Franklin County.
Published: Nov. 13, 2022 at 11:09 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2022 at 7:09 PM EST
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NORTHFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - One person is dead following a weekend fire in Franklin County.

Firefighters were called to 90 East Street in Northfield around 7 p.m. Sunday and when they arrived, they heard an explosion and found heavy smoke and fire coming from a repair garage in a one-story building.

The fire grew to two alarms and also damaged a nearby garage and property across the street. Mutual aid was brought in from several nearby communities, as well as two departments in New Hampshire and one department from Vermont.

Northfield Fire Chief Floyd “Skip” Dunnell told Western Mass News that the explosion blew out the front wall of the garage and damaged the house across the street, as well.

He says a lot went into battling these flames.

“We initially attacked it the first couple of minutes with hand lines because they’re quickly deployed, but then, we went right to master streams and an aerial ladder pipe operation,” Chief Dunnell said. “We had the bulk of the fire knocked down within 20-25 minutes, but we had a lot of overhaul, the roof had collapsed, and there were some issues that we had to work with there.”

A joint statement from Northfield Fire, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Northwestern District Attorney said that one adult was found inside the building and was declared dead at the scene, making this the second fatal fire in Franklin County in less than a week.

Last Tuesday, November 8th, another fire claimed one victim at a house in Millers Falls. Chief Dunnell told us that while neither of these fires were necessarily caused by alternative heating sources, Franklin County fire departments are concerned with the cost of fuel this winter driving people to use alternative heating sources, which contribute to fire danger. He urges everyone to make sure your detectors are working properly.

The medical examiner is still working to determine the identity of the victim of Sunday evening’s fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.