Large Northampton home destroyed by fire

It's been determined that a lightning strike was the cause of the fire

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A well-known local restaurant owner and his family will have to find a new place to live, after their large Northampton home has been reduced to rubble after a massive fire early Thursday morning.

Filling pools of water and running hoses up a half mile-long driveway, 75 firefighters from around Hampshire County have worked for hours to put out the fire at 675 North Farms Road. Chief Brian Duggan told 22News the house was engulfed in flames when they got there around 3:00 A.M. Smoke and flames could be seen a mile down the road.

Duggan says that firefighters did not find anyone inside the house at the time of the fire, and no injuries have been reported during the firefighting effort.

The home is owned by Claudio Guerra, the owner of Spoleto restaurant. He told 22News that he was visiting his father Wednesday night when he received a call around 9:00 P.M. from a friend who was at his home watching his dog, Peaches. The friend said that she thought she heard a lightning strike near the house and smelled sulfur. She looked around the area, but did not see anything, so on Guerra’s wife’s suggestion, the friend left Peaches in the garage and went back to her home.

The dog was not hurt during the fire.

The house itself is very large (between 5,000 and 6,500 square feet, the chief says,) and the effort to put out the flames was complicated by just where the house is. Located near the Williamsburg town line, the home is outside the Northampton water district. Tanker trucks from seven communities were called in to shuttle water from sources about two miles away. That water was then emptied from tanker trucks into pools set up on the road, from which hoses were run up the long, steep, winding driveway. Despite their efforts, the house has been reduced to rubble.

Guerra said that it was a beautiful home that he had built a few years ago, filled with a lifetime of memories and things you collect, but that other things are more important.

“I have to say I’m from New York and the twin towers; that means a lot to me. This was nothing, it’s just a house,” he said.

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