State: Easthampton fire caused by bad wiring

  • A house fire at 10 Dartmouth St. in Easthampton on Sunday, April 3, 2022, displaced two families and drew an emergency response from several towns and cities. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Staff Writer
Published: 4/5/2022 9:11:05 PM
Modified: 4/5/2022 9:10:03 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Investigators have determined that a fire Sunday at a two-family home was sparked by bad wiring in the area of a bathroom fan.

Jake Wark, spokesman for the state Department of Fire Services, said there had been indications of a problem.

“Residents reported that the circuit breaker had been tripping recently, which can be a sign of electrical problems,” Wark said in an email. “If you find this occurring, feel a shock or tingle when touching electrical cords or devices, or notice that switches or outlets are unusually warm, contact a licensed electrician.”

Fire Chief Christopher Norris said the fire had displaced two families from the three-story house at 10 Dartmouth St. The duplex, which was built in 1900, according to assessors’ records, sustained substantial smoke and water damage throughout the structure.

First responders said smoke was pouring out of the top floor of the three-story building and all of the occupants had safely evacuated.

The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced families and providing short-term housing. The cost of the damage is still being assessed, said Norris.

The fire investigation was conducted jointly by the Easthampton Fire Department and State Police fire investigators assigned to the state fire marshal’s office, according to Wark.

In addition to the Easthampton Fire Department and Easthampton Community Emergency Response Team, the city received mutual aid from Northampton, Southampton, Holyoke, South Hadley, and the Barnes and Westover Air National Guard fire departments.

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.

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