A large storage building owned by Dresser-Hull Lumber Co. was gutted by flames Tuesday night. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Krause.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Krause
Firefighters from all over the county helped to extinguish the fire.
LEE, Mass. — A massive structure fire on Railroad Street gutted a building at the century-old Dresser-Hull lumber yard on Tuesday night as nearly 70 firefighters battled the blaze in icy conditions.
The blaze began sometime before 8 p.m., consuming one of the main storage buildings in a huge ball of fire and sending smoke pluming over the town. It took nearly two hours to bring it under control.
Fire Chief Alan Sparks said it was not yet known how the fire began. He confirmed there were six or seven trucks inside the building and several explosions as the vehicles caught fire.
"There was a lot plywood, Sheetrock, different building materials," he said. "I'd say right now they were destroyed."
Firefighters from Lenox, Monterey, Dalton, Lanesborough, Great Barrington and Stockbridge were among those at the scene.
Battling the blaze was complicated by frigid conditions and icy surfaces. Firefighters were still putting out hotspots at 10 p.m. and expected to be on the scene all night.
"It's a windy night and a very cold night," Sparks said, adding the wind hampered the containment by fueling the blaze.
Main Street, Route 20, in Lee was closed for hours and traffic detoured. The Department of Public Works sent out sanders as streets around the blaze iced up because of the water from the hoses.
Dresser-Hull has been owned by the Shields family for more than a half-century at 60 Railroad St. It offers a variety of lumber and home improvement supplies and kitchen design center. It's website lists three boom trucks, three box trucks and a number of forklifts and flatbeds for delivery use.
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