Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Amherst barn fire still under investigation; electrical inspector called in

Amherst Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said Friday that the department has requested assistance from an electrical inspector to see if faulty wiring might be the cause, as the building did have power.

Based on the time of day the fire happened, around 4 p.m., the garage being secured and that a tenant at the residence reported the fire, officials don’t believe the fire was intentionally set.

“As far as we know there was no one around it,” Nelson said.

Nelson said investigators will be reviewing footage from security cameras at the nearby high school to see if they caught anything that might have been missed. Besides the barn, items stored by the landlords, Thomas Gu and Ping Peng, were destroyed in the fire, including mattresses and furniture.

When they got to the scene, firefighters focused on protecting the house at 106 Gray, about 25 to 30 feet away, as well as a neighboring house about 40 feet, as the barn was already lost.

Some of the siding on the home at 106 was melted, Nelson said, but the tenants were not displaced. “The wind blew the flames at the rear of 106,” Nelson said.

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