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Fire destroys home in Southfield but former church next door is saved

The house had been the scene of another fire that had damaged the kitchen in the rear of the house about two weeks earlier.

Southfield — An early-morning fire on Friday destroyed one home and damaged another near the Southfield Store. A total of eight fire companies from two states responded. 

The New Marlborough Fire Department received a call at 3:42 a.m. for an active structure fire at 155 Norfolk Road. Fire Chief Chuck Loring told The Edge he arrived a few minutes later to find a structure fire that was “pretty much totally involved.” He quickly added that there was no loss of life or injuries. 

See contributed video below of the fire at 155 Norfolk Road:

The home, which was unoccupied and owned by Jeremy Stanton and Emily Newman, was completely destroyed. The house had been the scene of another fire that had damaged the kitchen in the rear of the house about two weeks earlier. Loring said the previous fire started in a wall and was likely electrical in origin. The Stantons were living temporarily in a home across the street because of the damage.

The Southfield home, owned by Jermey Stanton and Emily Newman was a total loss. Photo: David Edelman

The blaze was so intense that it ignited a converted church next door that was being used as an artist space. Loring immediately called for mutual aid. Firefighters responded from Great Barrington, Monterey, Egremont, Sandisfield and Sheffield as well as from the Connecticut towns of Norfolk, Canaan and Falls Village. Those companies provided equipment that New Marlborough lacks, such as tanker trucks and ladder trucks.

“It caught the building next door, so we had two fires burning,” Loring explained. “But we had a pretty good save on that one. Without our mutual aid, we would have lost that church.”

A firefighter on a ladder truck attacked the fire in the converted church on Norfolk Road in Southfield from above. Photo: David Edelman

The former church is a large building with open spaces and a steeple that is as high as three-story building. One of the ladder trucks worked to contain the fire from the steeple. The positioning atop the steeple gave firefighters the ability to attack the fire at its source rather than simply spraying water on it from the outside. There is water damage to the building and some of the siding peeled off, and some windows wrecked, Loring said, but the building will survive.

Loring declined to speculate on a cause of the fire at the Stanton and Newman residence. He said both the state fire marshal and the insurance companies are investigating. Loring said he wanted to thank all firefighters and first responders who participated in the effort.

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