Multiple fires leave families across western Mass. reaching out to Red Cross

Friday kicked off a fiery weekend with 6 house fires in western Massachusetts leaving more than 25 people without a place to stay..
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 3:49 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 17, 2023 at 4:54 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - It was a busy weekend for many fire departments in western Massachusetts and the Red Cross as they assisted six families that fell victim to house fires.

Friday kicked off a fiery weekend with 6 house fires in western Massachusetts leaving more than 25 people without a place to stay.

“It’s not one single trend where each fire is caused by the same circumstance, so it’s a variety of things,” Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Mary Nathan told us. “It’s just been really busy. Six fires in two and a half days is a lot.”

The Red Cross assisted with all of these families displaced. On Friday, there was a fire in Monson. On Saturday, fires broke out in Belchertown, Orange, and Springfield, and on Sunday, they were in Chicopee and in Pittsfield.

Western Mass News reached out to Massachusetts Department of Fire Services to learn more about these fires. We learned that the fire in Orange was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials. The fire in Belchertown Saturday night was caused by a lightning strike and the one in Chicopee Sunday morning was caused by unsafe use of gasoline.

We also reached out to the Springfield Fire Department regarding the Saturday night fire on Grayson Drive. They told us that the flames began in the rear of the house, but that the Springfield Arson and Bomb Squad is still investigating.

The Red Cross told us that they usually are not busy during the warmer spring and summer months, and this weekend was unique.

“In normal circumstances, we’re busiest during the winter season,” Nathan told us. “The fires come along with heating accidents and that type of thing, but it’s beautiful weather and it’s just been very, very busy.”

However, they remain focused on helping those families on their worst days.

“We try to arrive on scene while the people are standing there, and just showing up usually helps calm things down and gives the people a sense that someone is now in this with them, and that’s usually helpful,” Nathan said.

State fire experts want to remind everyone to use caution during these dryer, warmer days and to check that your smoke detectors are working properly.

The Red Cross is also still in need of volunteers. You can find more information HERE.