WILLIAMSTOWN — More than 30 firefighters from seven area departments responded to a blaze Saturday afternoon that leveled a barn on Menard Cross Road.
William Graham, the newly appointed Williamstown fire chief, said local firefighters were in the process of moving into the new public safety building on Meadow Street when they were summoned to the structure fire shortly after 3 p.m.
Graham said the fire likely started when a space heater “kicked on,” igniting paint from an auto body shop Dan McAllister runs out of the barn he rents from Scott Hulbert.
McAllister was initially able to extinguish the burning paint can as well as the flames that had spread to the ceiling of the barn, the chief said.
But the fire rekindled and quickly got out of control, Graham said, when McAllister moved the still-sizzling space heater into a room that contained papers and some hay.
“That’s what caught the whole barn on fire,” Graham said.
Williamstown firefighters were joined at the scene by volunteers from Barre Town, Berlin, Brookfield, Chelsea, Northfield and Washington. But they were unable to keep the barn from burning to the ground.
“We had a bunch of people readily available, but we didn’t get it in time,” said Graham, who was still on the scene at 5:30 p.m.
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