No cause yet for fire that destroyed Amherst home
Officials from the Amherst Fire Department and the state fire marshal's office gather Tuesday at 141 Leverett Road in Amherst where a fire Monday destroyed the house owned by Alexey and Svetlana Peshkov. Investigators say the fire started in the garage, but they have not determined its cause. KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »
AMHERST — Investigators say the fire that destroyed a Leverett Road home Monday night began in the garage, but they can’t yet pinpoint the cause of the blaze.
Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said Thursday that Amherst firefighters and representatives from the state fire marshal’s office were at the 141 Leverett Road home Tuesday and Wednesday, sifting through remains and interviewing homeowners Svetlana and Alexey Peshkov.
“They can’t find just yet what might be the cause,” Nelson said.
Though the family had a woodstove heating the residence, Nelson said that is at the other end of the home and not connected to the fire.
Nelson said investigators were spending most of Thursday reviewing notes they took in determining how the fire started. They have isolated the possibilities to a couple of spots in the front of the garage closest to the living quarters, Nelson said.
Nelson said he is confident that a determination will be made. “The ideal is you want to find a cause, you really do,” Nelson said.
The fire began shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, and quickly consumed the garage and then the bedrooms above. The Peshkovs and their three children, who were all at home at the time, escaped the fire safely.
Nelson said the fire burned so hot, likely close to 1,000 degrees, that it melted not only the tires off two vehicles parked in the garage, but also the metal wheels to which the tires were attached.
Though both vehicles were destroyed, gas tanks on the vehicles didn’t explode, as the gas inside them likely spilled out during the fire, Nelson said.
Meanwhile, Nelson said he spoke to the Peshkovs Thursday, offering them comfort as they have lost most of their belongings and many things dear to them.
“There wasn’t much they can salvage,” Nelson said. “What didn’t get consumed by the fire was damaged by the heat and smoke.”
Donations to the family may be made to the Peshkov Fire Fund, care of UMass Five College Federal Credit Union, 200 Westgate Center Drive, P.O. Box 1060, Hadley, 01035-1060.