Fire consumes Sunderland garage owned by Edward Korpita

Last modified: Thursday, May 02, 2013

SUNDERLAND — A fire leveled a local man’s free-standing garage Tuesday afternoon.

“I was on my computer, listening to my headphones, when I heard a loud ‘boom, boom,’ ” said a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous. “I thought someone was banging on my door, but I went out and saw black smoke and fire trucks.”

The garage, which he said was built about 30 years ago, housed trucks, tools and other equipment accumulated by Edward Korpita. The loud booms his neighbors heard were exploding truck tires.

Korpita watched as firefighters wetted down the smoldering remains of his garage. He declined to comment.

The fire destroyed vehicles inside the building, off South Silver Lane, and damaged two pickups parked behind the structure. Their tires had been reduced to their steel belts and piles of burned rubber. A nearby dump truck and two Peterbilt truck cabs were spared from the flames.

Korpita’s sister and neighbor, Pat Winans, said her brother ran a trucking company in the 1980s and 1990s and used to work on his rigs in the tall wood garage. She did not know if Korpita had insurance on the building.

Sunderland Fire Chief Robert Ahearn confirmed that nobody was hurt in the fire.

He said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

The fire was called in by a neighbor at about 3:15 p.m., and crews from the South Deerfield, Hadley, Amherst, Leverett and Montague Center fire departments were called in to assist shortly thereafter.


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