ASHFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Authorities are saying that the improper disposal of wood stove ashes is most likely what sparked a house fire Friday night in the Franklin County town of Ashfield.
Goshen Fire officials tell us that, around 7:50 p.m., they were asked to assist crews in Ashfield with a structure fire at 314 Norton Hill Road.
Initial reports stated that neighbors called 911 to alert officials of the fire, because the homeowners were allegedly not home at the time.
Goshen crews arrived to find that flames were shooting out of the attic of a single-family home and that the barn next to it had already collapsed.
Due to the lack of fire hydrants and water supply in the surrounding area, crews were forced to shuttle water in from Ashfield Lake to two 2,100 gallon drop tanks that had been established in front of the residence.
Members of the Ashfield, Conway, and Williamsburg Fire Departments also began pumping water to several hand lines that were already attacking the fire.
Firefighters from Deerfield assisted as well, providing crews with four loads of water.
In addition to the lack of water resources, crews' efforts to extinguish the flames were also hindered by the frigid temperatures, which had dropped into the low twenties.
Once the bulk of the flames had been knocked down, Cummington Fire officials were forced to peel off the standing seam metal roof.
Upon completion, crews used a chainsaw to cut holes in the home's roof so that firefighters could pour water onto the hot spots.
While an ambulance was called to the scene, officials have not stated if any injuries were reported.
Goshen firefighters returned to their respective station just after 1:00 Saturday morning.
Members of the Buckland, Colrain, Conway, Cummington, Goshen, Hawley, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Williamsburg, and Plainfield Fire Departments were all called in to assist.
Officers from the Williamsburg Police Department responded to the scene as well.
While it is unclear if anyone was displaced by the fire, Jennifer Mieth, a spokesperson for the Department of Fire Services, says that, most likely, the improper disposal of wood stove ashes is what sparked the fire.