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Fire ravages Heath hilltop home

Firefighters cut vent holes in the roof while extinguishing a fire at 21 Route 8A in Heath Wednesday afternoon. 
(Recorder/Paul Franz)

Firefighters cut vent holes in the roof while extinguishing a fire at 21 Route 8A in Heath Wednesday afternoon. (Recorder/Paul Franz)

HEATH — 10 fire departments from two states responded to reports of a house fire at 21 Route 8A North on Wednesday, but were unable to stop the fire from ravaging the one-story, hilltop home of David Kratt.

Just before 2 p.m, a call came in reporting that smoke and flames were seen coming from the roof. Heath firefighters responded, along with mutual aid assistance from Rowe, Shelburne Falls, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Ashfield, Hawley and Vermont fire departments from Whitingham and Readsboro.

Shortly after 3 p.m., when the fire appeared to be extinguished, Heath Deputy Chief Ken Gilbert said no one had been home at the time of the fire, as far as he knew, and there were no injuries.

The charred building appeared to be badly damaged. Gilbert said he hadn’t yet been able to contact the resident, but said the house is uninhabitable for now.

Gilbert did not know if more than one person lives in the house.

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan was en route to the scene, at about 3 p.m. When reached for comment later in the evening, Coan said he has assigned a trooper to investigate the cause of the fire.

“The case remains under active investigation,” he said. “There is substantial damage.”

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