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State Says North Adams Scrapyard Fire Accidental

A thick plume of smoke rises out of a landscape of green-leaved trees behind a brick building
Forrest Houghton

State officials say the scrapyard fire that blanketed North Adams, Massachusetts in thick black smoke last month was accidental. 

The May 25th fire at the Apkins scrapyard on State Street produced dramatic images but resulted in no damage to surrounding buildings or injuries to residents or firefighters. Massachusetts Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey says the findings were the result of a joint investigation between state and local entities.

“While they were operating at the scrapyard and using some heavy equipment to prepare some of the materials that they were working with, a fire started as the result of gasoline vapors ignited on a vehicle that they were in the process of handling,” said Ostroskey.

He says fires of this nature are uncommon in Massachusetts.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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