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Fire guts Cummington home

  • A fire broke out at this home at 10 Snow Road in Cummington Tuesday night.  SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • A fire that broke out Tuesday evening at this large, rambling home at 10 Snow Road in Cummington gutted the building. FOR THE GAZETTE/FRAN RYAN

For the Gazette
Published: 11/20/2019 9:43:00 AM

CUMMINGTON — A large fire in Cummington destroyed a farmhouse on Snow Road early Tuesday evening.

Fire Chief Adam Dragon said the fire was reported at about 6 p.m. at the home of Kyle Ducharme Sr. at 10 Snow Road.

Fire crews from Cummington, Plainfield, Worthington, Ashfield and Windsor responded to the scene. Dragon said the fire likely began in the back of the house on the second floor and quickly spread to the attic and through the roof.

He said the Red Cross found shelter for Ducharme, who was uninjured in the blaze.

Officials said the fire was particularly difficult to deal with because of the size and structure of the home. Firefighters were on the property until early Wednesday morning just before sunrise.

“It was a big house with an addition in the back and a lot of hidden spaces for the fire to get into, so there were hot spots everywhere,” Plainfield Fire Chief David Alvord said. “The house is still standing but it is totally gutted — it’s a total loss.”

Alvord said it took over 100,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire, which was supplied by a nearby stream, tankers and town water.

“This was a very significant fire, and it is the third one in the hilltowns in two weeks,” Alvord said, referencinga fire in Plainfield on Nov. 14 and another in Ashfield on Nov. 9. “This really wears out volunteer departments.”

Dragon said that although there is some speculation that Tuesday night’s fire may have been started when a kerosene heater was accidently knocked over, it still remains under investigation by the state fire marshal, who was also at the scene Tuesday night.

On Wednesday afternoon, Ducharme’s next-door neighbor, Linda Matvewezski, stood in front of the home, still shocked at what she was seeing.

“I was at work and I heard about the fire when my son sent me a picture, and I just thought, oh, my God,” she said.

Matvewezski, who has lived next to Ducharme for just over a year, said she attended high school with him years ago.

“He has had his share of tragedy this year,” Matvewezski said. “His son Kyle Jr. died in May, and he was very young, in his 20s — and now this.”

Matvewezski described Ducharme as a disabled individual and said she had no idea where he might be staying.

“Fortunately, we have a hydrant right here on the street, which is a very rare thing in the hilltowns,” she said, pointing to a yellow fire hydrant near her home.

Matvewezski praised the firefighters for keeping the fire contained and preventing it from spreading to her house.

“We had a lot of great help from our partners,” Dragon said. “We are very lucky to have them.”

All of the responding fire departments were volunteer departments.

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