June 06, 2020

Family of 6 homeless after fire in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD – A family of six was left homeless when fire ripped through their Snakeroot Road home Saturday evening.

Fire Chief Bernard Williams said Duffy and Helen McAllister, their daughter, her husband and their two children were at home when the fire broke out at approximately 5 p.m. Saturday. Williams said Helen McAllister noticed flames in the kitchen and evacuated the family immediately.

Williams said fire crews from Pittsfield, Canaan, Burnham and Newport rushed to the scene, while the Detroit Fire Department covered for Pittsfield at its station.

He said the McAllister home was once a schoolhouse and had undergone extensive renovations over the years. He said the dropped ceilings and other renovations provided ideal areas for the fire to spread and made it difficult to put out.

“We thought we had it pretty much under control, but it just bloomed up again and spread very quickly,” Williams said Sunday. “It was a pretty stubborn fire to fight.”

Williams said the departments were able to shuttle water by tanker from hydrants a few miles away and had an ample and steady supply to fight the fire.

He said the freezing temperatures made it difficult to clean up after the fire. He said hoses and equipment needed to thaw before they could be stored. One firefighter was treated for mild smoke inhalation and was back at work at the firehouse later that night. Williams said he left the fire scene at 2 a.m. Sunday.

The Red Cross provided food, clothing and lodging for the family.

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