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Turners Falls fire caused by electrical overload

TURNERS FALLS — An electrical fire displaced a local family Thursday, at least overnight.

“We wouldn’t have noticed the fire if it weren’t for a wasp in the bedroom,” said Kris Boyle.

She went into an upstairs bedroom in the two-story Millers Falls Road home, where her 7-year-old son was playing, to kill the insect shortly after 5 p.m.

She didn’t find the wasp, but she did smell smoke coming from the attic crawlspace. She also noticed that the room’s ceiling fan, light and air conditioner had stopped working.

“The fire was started by an overloaded electrical circuit,” said Turners Falls Fire Captain John Zellman.

Too many air conditioners, lights and appliances caused a failure in the wiring.

“There was a lot of overhaul and cleanup work, due to the blown-in insulation in the attic, but there was no real structural damage.”

Boyle and her husband, Chris Boyle, have owned the home for nine years, and live there with their three sons. The home is insured, said Kris Boyle. Zellman said an insurance adjuster will check out the property today.

Firefighters from Greenfield and Montague Center assisted on-scene, while Gill firefighters provided station cover. Zellman said so much manpower was required so that firefighters could be rotated.

“The big thing was to make sure nobody overexhausted themselves in the heat,” he said.

A new piece of equipment, a fan that blows a mist of cold water, came in handy to cool firefighters down, he said.

Zellman said the Red Cross responded to the scene, and would put the family up in a hotel for the night.

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