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Quick stop for house fire in New Salem

A house fire at 90 Whitaker Road in New Salem was quickly extinguished when several fire departments converged on the scene Tuesday evening.
Recorder/David Rainville

A house fire at 90 Whitaker Road in New Salem was quickly extinguished when several fire departments converged on the scene Tuesday evening. Recorder/David Rainville

NEW SALEM — A quick response by several fire departments kept a local home from being consumed by flames Tuesday evening.

“It was a great stop by all involved,” said Fire Chief Joseph Cuneo.

The fire started in the laundry area in the first floor of an addition on the south side of the home.

“The damage was contained to a single room,” he said.

The tenants were able to return to their home Tuesday night, after the building inspector gave the OK and the electricity was turned back on, said Cuneo.

Cuneo said the fire appears to have been caused by an electric dryer in the single-family home.

“Whether it was caused by lint buildup or something else is hard to tell,” he said.

The fire was reported at about 5:06 p.m. In less than an hour, firefighters had switched to overhaul duties, tearing into the walls and ceiling to check for smoldering embers, according to Orange Fire Chief Dennis Annear, interviewed on-scene. Annear said firefighters were able to put out the fire from inside, and one engine had enough water to do so, though plenty of tankers and pumpers stood at the ready, just in case.

The New Salem Fire Department was assisted by firefighters from Erving, Montague Center, Orange, Shutesbury and Wendell.

“We really appreciate the response,” said one tenant, who did not want to be named. “Everyone got here really quickly.”

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