Shutesbury fire destroys house, damages neighbor’s

SHUTESBURY — A fire hot enough to melt a nearby canoe and telephone lines on the street destroyed a house at 28 North Laurel Drive, but no one was hurt, according to Fire Chief Walter Tibbetts.

Tibbetts said the owners had planned to tear down the single-story wood structure, and it was vacant and empty at around 9:30 p.m. Friday night.

Tibbetts said a fire in the fireplace apparently overheated and ignited the wood frame behind the brick, and the owners were next door eating dinner with a neighbor at the time.

The building was destroyed, but the most significant damage was to the owners’ neighboring residence, where siding and windows, a canoe and plastic picnic table were damaged by heat, according to Tibbetts.

Leverett, Shutesbury, Wendell, New Salem, Montague Center and Pelham departments were called to the two-alarm fire, but Tibbetts said the roof was already gone by the time first Shutesbury firefighter arrived from his home less than a mile away, and the building was a total loss.

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