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Home, puppies lost in Conway fire

CONWAY — As local firefighters worked to put out a house fire in Ashfield, smoke was seen billowing from the trees 10 miles away in Conway, where another fire was burning a modular home to the ground.

Twenty minutes apart, the two homes burned to the ground.

At 4:02 p.m. Friday, dozens of firefighters rushed through the hills of Conway to 1602 Main Poland Road, where flames totaled a double-wide trailer home and destroyed one van and two RVs, Conway Fire Chief Robert Baker said.

Moments later, the family arrived home in a pickup sobbing and screaming as they discovered their home in flames.

The family included two adults and six children, who were all uninjured. Two adult dogs survived, but a litter of 10 puppies died.

Between 20 and 30 firefighters responded to the fire from Conway, South Deerfield, Old Deerfield, Greenfield, Northampton, Charlemont, Colrain, Shelburne fire departments. Conway Ambulance and Police also were on hand. Some of the same firefighters had been working in Ashfield moments before. A passerby, spotting the black smoke, reported the fire.

As firefighters worked to put out the flames, the cold night worked against them as machinery and water from the fire hoses froze.

Making it more difficult was the lack of any fire hydrants in the rural neighborhood.

Local departments brought in several tankers to help get water up to the searing property.

An hour and a half later the fire still smoldered, smoke continuing to blanket the evening sky. Ash and debris lay where the home once stood.

No people were injured.

The cause of the fire is unknown. The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.

Evelyn Sullivan of the American Red Cross said they sent a team from Springfield to help firefighters and assist the family.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you...

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