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Amherst family displaced in Leverett Road house fire

  • Amherst firefighters battle a blaze Monday night at 141 Leverett Road in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Amherst firefighters make a vent in the roof while battling a blaze Monday night at 141 Leverett Road in Amherst.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Amherst firefighters battle a blaze Monday night at 141 Leverett Road in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Amherst firefighters battle a blaze Monday night at 141 Leverett Road in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Amherst firefighters battle a blaze Monday night at 141 Leverett Road in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Amherst firefighters battle a blaze Monday night at 141 Leverett Road in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said firefighters were dispatched around 5:13 p.m. to 141 Leverett Road. He said the garage was engulfed in flames when they got there and the fire had already spread to the main floor and attic area of the split-level home.

“My guess is it’s close to a total loss. It’s significant,” Nelson said.

Two vehicles parked in the garage were also destroyed in the fire, Nelson said.

The house, which shares a driveway with an adjacent residence at 137 Leverett Road, is owned by Alexey and Svetlana Peshkov, according to town property records.

Several Amherst Fire Department engines, rescue vehicles and ambulances lined the road as 30 to 40 firefighters attempted to contain the blaze. Northampton and Belchertown fire departments provided mutual aid.

One female occupant of the home, who discovered the fire and got too close to it, suffered a minor burn to her ear and was treated by paramedics at the scene, Nelson said.

No other injuries were reported and no pets were in the residence, Nelson said.

Firefighters got to the scene only five minutes after the fire was reported, but couldn’t do much to slow down the blaze.

“The fire had a really good start on us,” Nelson said.

To handle the firefighting, officials closed the street in Amherst at East Leverett Road and in Leverett at the intersection of Juggler Meadow Road and Amherst Road. The road was closed until well after 11 p.m.

Though the night was cold, the challenge for firefighters was hooking up to a hydrant.

“We had a good distance to a fire hydrant,” Nelson said. “There aren’t many along Leverett Road."

Because the home is set up on an embankment, a lot of the water used to fight the fire flowed into the road, causing the travel lanes to ice over. Nelson said the Department of Public Works was on scene to spread sand before the road reopened.

Nelson said the fire doesn’t appear to be suspicious, but an investigation will commence today. “Our guys will be back first thing in the morning to look,” he said.

He expects to have assistance from the state fire marshal’s office.

Nelson said the Red Cross is providing assistance, including shelter and clothing, to the two adults and three children displaced by the fire.

This, Nelson said, was the first significant house fire in his tenure as fire chief, which began in March 2010.

Related

Community rallies to aid victims of Amherst house fire

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

AMHERST — The morning after a fire caused heavy damage to their home, Svetlana and Alexey Peshkov had to send their 5-year-old son to school without the winter gear he’d need to play outdoors with his friends. When Svetlana Peshkov learned that staff at Wildwood School had been able to give Andrey a pair of snow pants, she was grateful. …

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