Vacant home in Orange destroyed in blaze

A home on Old South Road in Orange was destroyed by a fire reported at 2:35 a.m. on Wednesday.

A home on Old South Road in Orange was destroyed by a fire reported at 2:35 a.m. on Wednesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/BRYAN FAVREAU

Due to a lack of hydrants in the area, water tankers were brought to the scene of Wednesday morning’s fire on Old South Road in Orange.

Due to a lack of hydrants in the area, water tankers were brought to the scene of Wednesday morning’s fire on Old South Road in Orange. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/BRYAN FAVREAU

Orange firefighters quell a two-alarm fire on Old South Road on Wednesday morning. Neighbors reported the building had been vacant for years.

Orange firefighters quell a two-alarm fire on Old South Road on Wednesday morning. Neighbors reported the building had been vacant for years. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/BRYAN FAVREAU

A vacant home on Old South Road in Orange was destroyed by a fire on Wednesday morning.

A vacant home on Old South Road in Orange was destroyed by a fire on Wednesday morning. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/BRYAN FAVREAU

By MAX BOWEN

Athol Daily News Editor

Published: 04-03-2024 2:28 PM

ORANGE — A two-story home on Old South Road was destroyed by an early-morning blaze on Wednesday.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation by the Orange Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office. According to Department of Fire Services spokesperson Jake Wark, although the house was long-vacant, it still had electrical service, which could be a potential factor.

Dispatchers began receiving calls at approximately 2:35 a.m. on Wednesday, reporting the blaze at 202 Old South Road, according to the Orange Fire Department.

Orange Police were the first to arrive, at which time the rear of the structure had already collapsed. Neighbors told police that the house has been vacant for many years, the Fire Department stated.

Due to a lack of fire hydrants in the area, responding firefighters helped pump water from the tankers to the on-scene units. The closest hydrant was half a mile away, near Gelinas Waste Recycle Landscape, and was used to refill tankers. Route 202 was shut down as the trucks brought water to the scene.

An exterior attack on the fire had to be paused when the water supply ran out, and renewed when Athol Fire arrived to provide mutual aid.

“Once we utilized [Athol’s] water, our tanker water supply was established and we had plenty of water, and multiple hand lines were utilized,” reads a statement from the Orange Fire Department.

Along with Athol, assistance was provided by firefighters from Warwick, New Salem, Royalston, Phillipston and Turners Falls, plus Northfield EMS. The Northfield Fire Department provided station coverage. The Orange Water Department advised that use of the hydrants would cause discoloration of the water system for a period of time.

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Max Bowen can be reached at mbowen@recorder.com or 413-930-4074.