Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Three escape Orchard Street house fire in Northampton

  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton

    Fire on Orchard street Northampton

  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton

    Fire on Orchard street Northampton

  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton

    Fire on Orchard street Northampton

  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton

    Fire on Orchard street Northampton

  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton

    Fire on Orchard street Northampton

  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton

    Fire on Orchard street Northampton

  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton

    Fire on Orchard street Northampton

  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton

    Fire on Orchard street Northampton

  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton
  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton
  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton
  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton
  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton
  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton
  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton
  • Fire on Orchard street Northampton

Three people were in the house when the fire was reported at 1:55 p.m., and they all got out safely, according to a statement issued by Deputy Chief Timothy McQueston. The building is owned by Alexander C. Konheim.

Deputy Chief Jon Davine estimated that the damage to the house and its contents totaled about $400,000. The roof and attic were completely destroyed, the second floor was heavily damaged by flames and the first floor was damaged by heavy smoke and water, he said.

The fire was under control by 3:10 p.m. and Orchard Street was closed for another two hours while the Northampton Fire Investigation Team and the state fire marshal’s office tried to determine the cause of the blaze.

Davine said investigators would “probably be working overnight to figure it out.” At 6 p.m. he said the road had been reopened.

Robin Maltz, who lives a few homes down from the scene of the fire, said she felt a slight rumbling a few seconds before heavy smoke began billowing down the street.

“I couldn’t even see outside, there was so much thick smoke,” she said.

Witnesses said they saw the smoke from nearby Interstate 91 and smoke also was visible from as far away as Conz Street.

All on-duty Northampton firefighters responded to the blaze, as did firefighters from Amherst, Easthampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Westhampton, Chesterfield, Williamsburg and Greenfield. Massachusetts State Police, Northampton Police and the Hampshire County Sheriff’s office also responded.

When reached by phone Wednesday evening, Konheim said he lives upstairs in the building. He said he would find temporary housing and was not sure what the downstairs tenants would do. He declined to identify the tenants or to offer further comment.

Davine said Red Cross workers were at the scene to assist the tenants, but he did not know where they would stay.

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