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Fire destroys garage, damages home of Hatfield firefighter

  • Firefighters battle the blaze at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. A firefighter, at right, puts on an oxygen mask.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Firefighters battle the blaze at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. A firefighter, at right, puts on an oxygen mask.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Firefighters gather in front of a house at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield after battling a fire that broke out early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Firefighters gather in front of a house at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield after battling a fire that broke out early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Firefighters battle the blaze at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Firefighters battle the blaze at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Firefighters battle the blaze at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Firefighters battle the blaze at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • A firefighter covers his face from the smoke as he walks by the burning garage at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    A firefighter covers his face from the smoke as he walks by the burning garage at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Firefighters clean up the wreckage from a fire inside the garage at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013.<br/> <br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Firefighters clean up the wreckage from a fire inside the garage at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • CHRIS BANNER PHOTO<br/>Fire destroyed a garage and damaged the attached home owned by firefighter Eric VanGeel at 9 Cronin Hill Road in Hatfield on Tuesday afternoon.

    CHRIS BANNER PHOTO
    Fire destroyed a garage and damaged the attached home owned by firefighter Eric VanGeel at 9 Cronin Hill Road in Hatfield on Tuesday afternoon. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Firefighters battle the blaze at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. A firefighter, at right, puts on an oxygen mask.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Firefighters gather in front of a house at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield after battling a fire that broke out early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Firefighters battle the blaze at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Firefighters battle the blaze at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • A firefighter covers his face from the smoke as he walks by the burning garage at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Firefighters clean up the wreckage from a fire inside the garage at 9 Cronin Road in Hatfield early Tuesday evening on February 5, 2013.<br/> <br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • CHRIS BANNER PHOTO<br/>Fire destroyed a garage and damaged the attached home owned by firefighter Eric VanGeel at 9 Cronin Hill Road in Hatfield on Tuesday afternoon.

“This is one of the most involved fires that we have recently had,” Fire Chief William A. Belden said.

When firefighters arrived just after 4 p.m., flames had already engulfed the entire garage, which was attached to the home. The blaze had started to move in through the kitchen and into a family room when firefighters were able to stop it in a hallway before it reached the bedrooms. The house is currently uninhabitable.

Belden said that if firefighters had arrived a couple of minutes later, the entire home would likely have been destroyed. “I would estimate that this is at least $50,000 worth of damage,” he said.

Belden said homeowner Erik Vangeel, a new member of the Hatfield Fire Department, was at home with his wife and two children when the fire broke out just before 4 p.m.

“They all got out OK and there are no injuries that I am aware of,” Belden said at the scene. “He told me that it started over in the corner of the garage.”

Vangeel was clearly shaken as he watched firefighters pulling down the charred bits of what used to be his garage.

“Just look at it,” he said. “You can pretty much see what happened. That’s all I have to say,” he said.

The Hatfield Fire Department was joined by firefighters from Northampton and Whately who quickly responded to the scene.

“At the peak of the fire we had about 40 firefighters here,” Belden said. “Williamsburg and Sunderland were also put on alert.”

By 6 p.m. only a few hot spots remained in the structure.

A state fire marshal was on the scene by 5:30 and the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Legacy Comments3

I am so sorry for your loss. It was my family's first house, from 1984 - 1988 and has always been special to me. I am so glad that everyone is alright. My heart goes out to you, Victoria Kozera

We, at Lincoln Real Estate are hosting a clothing, toy, school supplies, etc Drive for this family. Lincoln Real Estate is accepting donation beginning today through Friday at 4:00pm. Our office is located at 25 N. Pleasant St. Amherst MA. We are open M-F 8:30-4:30pm. Thank you for your help. Please help us help them.

Is there any drop off places in Hatfield??? And what ages are the children? Dori

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