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Early-Morning Fire Destroys West Springfield Apartment Complex

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA - An early-morning two-alarm fire destroyed a 50-year-old apartment building in the Memorial neighborhood of West Springfield on May 27th, and displaced nine tenants before being brought under control by West Springfield Fire Dept. crews.

911 calls came into West Springfield Fire Alarm just after 3:00 A.M., reporting a fire at 20 Exposition Avenue. West Springfield firefighters saw the orange glow in the sky as they responded from headquarters, half a mile away. By the time the first-in companies from HQ arrived on scene three minutes after dispatch, the fire was in total possession of the common cockloft of the building and venting from several apartments on the second floor. The second-alarm was struck, bringing all remaining WSFD companies to the scene and mutual aid for citywide coverage as crews on scene began an hours long defensive attack on the fire.

Low water pressure on scene did hinder efforts to get the master stream on Ladder 1 into operation, but only for a short period of time. In spite of two aerial master streams, multiple hand lines, street guns and apparatus mounted deck guns playing away into the building, the fire destroyed the entire attic space of the apartment complex, as well as all second floor units. West Springfield firefighters spent several hours overhauling the building and companies rotated on and off scene all day long maintaining a fire watch detail as the Fire Investigation Unit along with State Fire Marshal's Office investigators combed through the scene to determine the cause and origin of the fire. 

None of the nine displaced residents or responding West Springfield firefighters were injured as a result of the fire, and all residents were assisted by the Red Cross in finding temporary shelter.

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NATE ARNOLDCorrespondent

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