Barn fire sparks several brush fires

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – From Southampton to Holyoke to Chicopee. Several western Massachusetts fire departments dealt with brush fires on this very windy Thursday.

In Chicopee, firefighters had to control a massive barn fire, while worrying about flames spreading to nearby trees.

Laura Tardy and Karen MachNacz, both of Chicopee, called 9-1-1 just before 3 o’clock Thursday afternoon to report a fire on Montgomery Street. They told 22News, “It was very scary. You know after the second explosion, it was just, all of a sudden, the flames were crazy, coming high, and the wind was pushing it more.”

Neighbors reported hearing two explosions. Then, flames were through the roof at a barn at 864 Montgomery St. in Chicopee, but within minutes, firefighters were dealing with more than one fire.

The fire spread quickly because of the wind, and strong gusts sent embers flying toward wooded areas nearby, causing brush fires in several spots.

Chicopee Deputy Fire Chief Dean Desmarais told 22News he’s urging people to be extremely cautious over the next two or three weeks. He said, “We have low humidity, high winds and a lot of dry vegetation. It doesn’t take much of an ember to have that, you know, get another fire going, and once it does, it’s fanned by the wind.”

Open Burning Season ends May 1st. Until then, brush burning is allowed in certain areas with a proper permit, and do not throw away cigarette butts on the ground.

The very latest on that barn fire, officials do not know yet what caused the fire or the reported explosions. Deputy Chief Desmarais said it’s too early to tell.

All the equipments for a family run business inside the barn were destroyed.

Make sure to follow the 22News Storm Team for the latest weather updates, on-air and on WWLP.com.

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