Hilltown departments save Ashfield home in smoky fire

  • Firefighters run hoses to fight a smoky fire at 198 Steady Lane in Ashfield Friday morning.

  • Tanker trucks brought in water from Ashfield Lake to battle a fire on Steady Lane in Ashfield Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Firefighters from several hilltowns helped the Ashfield Fire Department extinguish a smoky fire at 198 Steady Lane in Ashfield Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Firefighters battled freezing rain and a lack of water at a structure fire in Ashfield Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • A smoky fire was called in at around 9 a.m. at 198 Steady Lane in Ashfield Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 2/4/2022 6:32:52 PM
Modified: 2/4/2022 6:31:22 PM

ASHFIELD — Firefighters from several hilltowns were hampered by freezing rain as they helped the Ashfield Fire Department extinguish a smoky fire at 198 Steady Lane on Friday.

Jay Conklin, who lives alone at 198 Steady Lane, was alerted to a fire in his home just before 9 a.m. by the noise and smoke.

“I heard a loud noise and saw smoke, so I tried to call the Fire Department but my phone wasn’t working,” Conklin recounted.

Not being able to call out using his landline and with his home filling with smoke, Conklin exited the two-story house in a short-sleeve shirt and socks, and waved down his neighbor who was driving by.

Ashfield Fire Chief Kyle Walker said the call came in as an electrical fire in the basement. When his crews arrived, there were no flames showing but the building was filled with smoke.

“There was no visibility at all,” he remarked.

Tanker trucks brought in water from Ashfield Lake, setting up a portable tank at the end of the driveway that Ashfield’s engine was drawing from to feed the hoses.

Responding departments besides Ashfield were Buckland, Conway, Goshen, Hawley, Plainfield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield and Williamsburg, as well as the District 9 Regional Response Field Communications Unit. Walker called the scene under control at 10:09 a.m., with the structure still standing.

As Conklin kept warm in his neighbor’s truck, he indicated that he has homeowner’s insurance and a place to stay, just as another neighbor brought him boots and warm clothing.

“I have wonderful neighbors,” Conklin remarked.


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