PITTSFIELD, Mass. -Fire investigators are trying to figure out what sparked a blaze that broke out at a three unit apartment building in Pittsfield on Monday.
Fire crews were called to 141 Daniels Street around 10:30 p.m. Monday evening.
The Pittsfield Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said heavy smoke and fire were coming out of the first floor of the home, the fire then extended to the second and third floor attic of the residence. The building has been severely damaged.
Fire officials say people were inside the home at the time of the fire, but all made it out safely.
According to authorities seven people, including three children have been displaced due to fire. The Red Cross is assisting some of the victims of the fire.
A total of 18 firefighters were on scene working to put out the blaze, according to the fire chief crews ran into some challenges.
"As any summertime fire obviously the crews are pretty exhausted. They are re-hydrating. it took about 45 minutes to an hour to get the fire knocked down and under control and once that was done the deputy starting relieving crews and get fresh models and get water into them and get R and R into them before they start the overhaul work," said Chief Czerwinski.
Two firefighters were injured, suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration.
“The conditions last night, the humidity last night and wearing the gear that they are wearing, they are averaging 70 pounds of gear. The protective clothing unfortunately leads to something like that happening,” said Czerwinski.
Although the cause of the fire is unknown at this time, a $5,000 reward is now being offered for information about the cause of the blaze.
Tony Cimini, the landlord of the building, says his tenants won't be moving back in anytime soon. The front siding of the home is completely melted off and tenants living inside these three apartments lost most if not all of their belongings.
Cimini stated that he believed the fire is suspicious because the first floor tenant has been having some problems.
“Somebody broke in and knocked her out and took her checkbook. And then last week the lady downstairs was found on the kitchen floor. It's just a weird coincidences that are happening a month, last week and then now,” Cimini said.
Police confirm there was an assault that happened on the first floor apartment back in June, but can't say if that incident is connected to the fire investigation.