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Electrical fire caused estimated $150,000 in damages to South Amherst home, no injuries

The split-level home at 25 Merrick Circle, owned by David Glassberg, was unoccupied at the time of the two-alarm fire, which Amherst firefighters responded to at 8:05 p.m.

When firefighters arrived at the house, heavy smoke was coming from “all sections,” with fire in the rear, according to a press release from the Amherst Fire Department.

The fire was extinguished within an hour.

Amherst Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said Sunday that the fire is not suspicious and is most likely electrical in nature, but officials aren’t expected to definitively rule that until Monday afternoon after his department’s Fire Investigation Unit meets with insurance investigators on Monday.

“It’s leaning toward electrical but we want to have someone else weigh in,” Nelson said.

The home suffered significant fire damage to the kitchen area, as well as smoke, heat and water damage to the first floor and smoke damage throughout the rest of the home. The home’s residents could not return and are staying with friends or relatives, Nelson said.

Nelson said Friday the fire was called in by one of the property’s residents. Because another car was present, there was initially concern that someone might be inside.

Five Amherst firefighters responded in two trucks and searched the home to make sure it was not occupied, Nelson said. A third truck with student firefighters also responded to the initial call.

The department called for extra help and received support from fire crews from Northampton, Hadley, Pelham and South Hadley Fire District 2, Nelson said. Belchertown and Sunderland also stationed an ambulance at the fire scene.

At the time the fire call came in, two Amherst ambulances were out on other calls, which prompted the request for outside help, Nelson said.

The home is assessed at $267,300, according to Amherst property records.

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