Vacant home in Orange destroyed in blaze

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

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

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

Due to a lack of hydrants in the area, water tankers were brought to the scene of Wednesday morning’s fire. PHOTO CREDIT/BRYAN FAVREAU

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

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

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

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

By Max Bowen

Published: 04-03-2024 11:37 AM

ORANGE—A two-story home on Old South Road was destroyed by an early-morning blaze, according to the Orange Fire Department.

No injuries were reported and the fire is under investigation.

Shelburne Control Regional Dispatch began receiving calls at approximately 2:35 a.m. on Wednesday, reporting a fully involved structure fire at 202 Old South Road, according to the department.

Orange Police were the first on the scene and confirmed that the two-story house was fully involved, with the rear of the structure having already collapsed. Neighbors told police that the house has been vacant for many years, the OFD stated.

Due to a lack of fire hydrants in the nearby area, a water tender was requested to the scene to establish a water supply for the firefighters and mutual aid was requested to help 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 utilized 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 their (Athol’s) water, our tanker water supply was established and we had plenty of water and multiple hand lines were utilized,” a statement from the OFD read.

Along with Athol, mutual aid was also provided by Warwick New Salem, Royalston, Phillipston FNorthfield EMS and Turners Falls. Northfield Fire provided station coverage. According to the Orange Water Department, 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@atholdailynews.com or 413-930-4074.