From the Town of Great Barrington and the Great Barrington Fire Department (information and photos used by permission) 

At approximately 12:52 pm on Friday afternoon (May 26) the Great Barrington Fire Department was dispatched for a reported outdoor fire within 10 feet of a structure in the area of Silver Street at Main Street. Great Barrington. Engine 2 observed heavy black smoke while en route and found a heavy fire involving a structure upon arrival, requesting a second alarm. Great Barrington units found a large outdoor fire at the rear of the Wards Nursery and Garden Center complex with an extension to an adjacent wood staircase to a second-floor apartment of a stucco multifamily building off Silver Street.

Great Barrington Police advised that the apartments were not occupied. Great Barrington Engine 2 quickly stretched a hose line rapidly knocking down the fire on the building and then worked to control the outdoor fire. Great Barrington Engine 5 crew deployed a second line and immediately went to check for extension and verify the apartments were empty. The fire was completely under control in approximately 15 minutes. Fire damage was contained to the exterior of the apartment building, a fence and product in the outdoor storage of Ward’s Nursery and Garden Center where the fire originated from.

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Great Barrington responded with two engines and a ladder. They were assisted on the scene by Egremont Fire Department, Monterey Fire Department, Great Barrington Police Department, The Fire Department Support Group and the Great Barrington Fire District. The Great Barrington station was staffed by an Engine each from Sheffield, Lenox, and Lee, with Stockbridge Fire Department handling a fire alarm activation at the Berkshire Food Coop.

The fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office, Great Barrington Fire Department and Great Barrington Police Department. There were no injuries. Interim Fire Chief James Mead stated “I am very proud of our firefighters for making such a quick stop with very limited manpower initially. It was their quick work and the assistance of the Great Barrington Police Department, an off-duty visiting firefighter, and off-duty paramedic that limited the spread this fire had the potential of.” Interim Chief Mead added that “I would like to thank all responding mutual aid departments, that having additional resources on the road early in the incident is imperative to a positive outcome whether they are used or not.”

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