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Residents still displaced after Thursday fire downtown Northampton

  • The cause of a Thursday morning fire that displaced all residents of the 32 Masonic St. condominium in Northampton remains under investigation, said Assistant Fire Chief Jon Davine. STAFF PHOTO/JACQUELYN VOGHEL

  • The cause of a Thursday morning fire that displaced all residents of the 32 Masonic St. condominium in Northampton remains under investigation, said Assistant Fire Chief Jon Davine. STAFF PHOTO/JACQUELYN VOGHEL

  • The cause of a Thursday morning fire that displaced all residents of the 32 Masonic St. condominium in Northampton remains under investigation, said Assistant Fire Chief Jon Davine. STAFF PHOTO/JACQUELYN VOGHEL



Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 04, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — All residents of the 32 Masonic St. condominium remain displaced after a Thursday morning fire, according to Assistant Fire Chief Jon Davine.

“Everyone is still out of that building because of smoke and water damage,” Davine added.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Davine said, and the Northampton Police Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are currently assisting in the investigation.

“I think that many (residents) will not be able to get back in for many months,” said Robin Freedenfeld, who has owned part of the property since 1987.

The building has eight residential units and five commercials units.

The fire, which occurred at around 6 a.m., damaged a second floor apartment and also caused water and smoke damage throughout the building, Davine said on Thursday. No injuries were reported.

“Everything above was severely smoke damaged, and everything below was severely water damaged,” Freedenfeld said of the complex.

Advanced Restoration Group is currently working to restore the property.

Freedenfeld said that her office space for Button Street Associates was “completely gutted,” and that she is currently working from home.

Other businesses were more fortunate; Henry Walz, proprietor of Old Book Store at 32 Masonic St., said that the store was closed the day of the fire, but “didn’t get a drop” of water damage and has been operating “business as usual.”

The Parlor Room performance venue was also unaffected by the fire, said Jim Olsen, president of Signature Sounds, which owns the space.

“No damage for us at all,” Olsen said. “Just inconvenience.”

While the space experienced some interruptions to services on Thursday, Olsen said that there were no issues by the time the venue hosted a show on Friday night.

Freedenfeld said that the Red Cross gave residents vouchers for temporary places to stay, adding that tenants are “going to have to find places and clean up their units.”

Despite the losses, Freedenfeld said that she is grateful to the Northampton police and fire departments, building inspectors, contractor MJ Moran, Advanced Restoration Group, Hampshire Property Management Group and the Red Cross for their assistance.

“All of these city departments and private contractors did an amazing job,” Freedenfeld added via email. “Had the fire department not taken the time and care to protect my personal belongings, I would have lost so much more.”

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.