Windy conditions Monday night caused a barn fire to spread quickly and even across a canal in Chicopee.
"We always used to say if that ever goes up, a lot of stuff is going to melt around here," said nearby resident Paul Chmura.
On this blustery day, that's exactly what happened. Flames destroyed an old abandoned coal shed, threatening nearby homes.
"First of all I heard a little explosion and I ran outside and looked up and I saw flames shooting through the roof of the coal shed," Chmura said.
Chmura has lived here in a 200 year old home on Ames Avenue his entire life.
All he and his neighbors could do was watch from their windows as the coal barn, with coal still inside, quickly was engulfed by fire.
Firefighters were able to put the flames out, but it wasn't over yet for as wind gusts forced them to focus their efforts on several brush fires that ignited nearby.
"The wind stirred up a lot of the embers and that's what got them across the river and started some brush fires up there which taxed our resources, we had to get some trucks up there," said Deputy Chief James McInerney of the Chicopee Fire Department.
In all about 24 firefighters worked to put it all out and even several hours after the first flames were spotted, they had to keep water pouring onto hot spots.
Neighbors in the area, like Chmura, were just relieved their homes made it by with only some damage.
"The firemen got here really quickly and did an excellent job stopping it," he said.
Two firefighters sustained minor injuries.
The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of this fire.
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Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:08 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:08:09 GMT
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