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Shed destroyed, nobody hurt in Colrain fire

Recorder/David Rainville
A shed on the Hager Bros. Farm in Colrain was consumed by fire Thursday evening. The shed at one time housed the forge of the farm's ferrier, and was most recently used for welding.

Recorder/David Rainville A shed on the Hager Bros. Farm in Colrain was consumed by fire Thursday evening. The shed at one time housed the forge of the farm's ferrier, and was most recently used for welding.

COLRAIN — A fire at Hager Bros. Farm destroyed a shed, but firefighters were able to keep it from spreading to nearby barns and houses Thursday night.

“I got home, and there were all these firefighters in our driveway,” said Kim Stevens, daughter of Sherry and Albert “Chip” Hager. “My first thought was ‘I hope everyone’s alright.”

They were.

Though the shed, which Stevens said once housed the farm’s ferrier’s forge and anvil, and was recently used for welding, was a complete loss, the fire was contained. A barn just yards from the fire was spared, as well as Stevens’ house just beyond it.

Fire Chief Nick Anzuoni said the close proximity of the buildings was a concern.

A stray ember from the Hager’s nearby sugar house may have started the fire, said Anzuoni, though he wasn’t certain Thursday evening. Stevens confirmed that the family had been boiling sap when the fire broke out.

She said it was noticed by a farm worker.

“He was milking the cows in the barn, when it began to fill with smoke blown in by the wind,” said Stevens.

The fire was called in at 6:26 p.m., and Anzuoni said it was under control about 10 minutes after firefighters arrived. Even so, the department struck a first alarm, bringing aid from the Heath, Shelburne, and Shelburne Falls fire departments, as well as the Rapid Intervention Team from the Greenfield Fire Department, which was cancelled en route.

“We have 20 (volunteer) firefighters on the department, but it’s hard to know how many you’ll get,” said Anzuoni. “With mutual aid, it’s a lot easier to turn them away if we don’t need them.”

The timing of the fire also aided in its extinguishment.

“We just had the foam system on our truck fixed,” said Anzuoni. “When we’re limited on water, it makes a big difference.”

The foam is more efficient than water, said the chief, and also absorbs more heat, helping to make conditions safer for firefighters.

David Rainville can be reached at::
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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