Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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No one hurt in Westhampton chimney fire that spreads to walls of house on Reservoir Road 

Smoke detectors woke up an owner of home at about 12:30 p.m. He was able to call 911 and get out of the house without injury, said Fire Chief Christopher Norris.

The home is owned by Von and Jean Creek, who did not want to comment when contacted Sunday night. The man was the only one home when the fire broke out, according to fire officials.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke in the house and flames visible on one side, Norris said. After knocking the fire down, firefighters opened up the walls and ceiling to ensure that the fire was out and would not flare up. Damage was contained to the right half of the house, including the walls, ceilding and a small hole in the roof, he said.

Norris said the homeowner had started a fire in the wood stove earlier that morning, but it continued to smolder inside the chimney after it was extinguished and eventually caught fire.

Rather than accept an offer for lodging from the American Red Cross, the family chose to stay in the house after the building inspector said it was safe to do so, Norris said.

“The house is boarded up and is still liveable,” he said. “They will stay there tonight.”

Chesterfield, Williamsburg, Huntington and Northampton firefighters assisted at the scene.

The working smoke detectors in the house likely saved the man from serious injury, Norris said, though residential sprinklers could have minimized the damage considerably. The home, like many residences, did not have such sprinklers.

The home is located in a fairly remote section of town but is not far from Pine Island Lake. Because the town of Westhampton does not have a municipal water supply, the fire department set up preparations to draft water out of the lake. Norris said crews were able to put the fire out with about 500 gallons of water, which was brought on scene in a fire truck, and did not need to pull water from the lake.

Crews were on scene until about 3 p.m.

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