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Cause of fire that destroyed Amherst home stumps investigators

Investigators are ruling a fire that tore through a Leverett Road home on the evening of Jan. 7 accidental, but will not be able to cite a cause for the blaze.

“We’re going to leave that as an undetermined cause, an accidental fire,” said Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson.

The fire at 141 Leverett Road began in the garage and destroyed two vehicles parked inside it as well as the bedrooms above the garage.

The heat produced by the fire consumed much of the evidence of how it began, Nelson said, making the origin of the fire impossible to ascertain.

“They know where it started, they just don’t know how it started,” Nelson said.

The fire left Svetlana and Alexey Peshkov and their three children without a home and with few of their belongings salvageable due to fire, smoke, heat and water damage, Nelson said. The Peshkovs were home at the time of the fire and all escaped safely.

Amherst firefighters along with an investigator with the state fire marshal’s office spent two days at the scene sifting through debris and interviewing the homeowners and then a third day going through notes, Nelson said.

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, MA 01035-1060.

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