Local firefighters and surrounding communities are mourning the loss of a Montgomery Fire Chief who died while battling a two-alarm house fire overnight.

State Fire Marshal Peter Peter J. Ostroskey announced during a press conference Wednesday Chief Stephen Frye collapsed while he was on-scene of an accidental wood stove fire on 1524 Southampton Road.

Chief Frye was taken to Baystate Noble Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Ostroskey said that 59-year-old Chief Frye joined the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department in 1993, and has been the Fire Chief for the last 17 years.

“The fire department is devastated and our heart goes to the family. There’s gonna be some tough times ahead," said Montgomery Deputy Fire Chief Chris Galipeau.

Jay Bodendorf and his 91-year-old mother who lived at the Southampton Road home called 911 to report the fire around 11:09 p.m. Tuesday night.

“Residents of that address were alerted to smoke in the building by operating smoke alarms," said Ostroskey.

Ostroskey noted the fire started from inside the wood stove and extended to the house.

During a press conference Ostroskey stressed the importance of maintaining your wood stove or home heating devices during the winter season.

"There was a wood stove in the rear of the building that was operating and has been used by the homeowner for some time," Ostroskey explained.

Montgomery fire was first on scene and quickly realized mutual aid was needed and they called for support from East, West and South Hampton, Holyoke, Westfield, Russell and even the Barnes Air Force Base for tanker support.

Huntington police along with Hilltown ambulances responded as well.

To view pictures from the scene, CLICK HERE.

Western Mass News will continue to follow the latest on-air and online.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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