Above: The home on Greenridge was significantly damaged.
Below: A garage on Evelyn was also damaged.
DALTON, Mass. — Firefighters and police are investigating two simultaneous house fires near South Street, possibly as cases of arson.
According to Fire Chief Gerald Cahalan, the department responded to a structure fire at 73 Greenridge Drive at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. In transit, firefighters spotted another blaze at 36 Evelyn St. The homes are less than a block away from each other.
He had expected to have a clearer idea of which way the investigation would go later in the day.
Departments from Hinsdale, Pittsfield, Lanesborough and Windsor were called in. The fire on Greenridge caused "significant" damage — leaving a woman, who was not home at the time, homeless. A neighboring house at 67 Greenridge Drive was also damaged by the flames.
The Evelyn Street fire was knocked down quickly and damage was confined to the garage. The family of four living at the Evelyn address were able to return to their home.
"My units did a great job knocking down both fires quickly," Cahalan said.
The majority of the firefighters left the scene at about 4:45 a.m. Sunday but an engine stayed on fire watch until about 9 a.m.
"The fire on Greenridge [moved] quick," Cahalan said. "We don't know what time the other one started. We can't figure out what started first."
Both fires appear to have been started in homes' garages. The causes are being investigated by Dalton Police, the state police arson unit and the Fire Department. Cahalan said he could not confirm the causes at this time.
Neighbors on the scene Sunday afternoon said there was a rash of fires in the same area just three years ago.
Correction: The fire chief's name was given incorrectly in this story and has been changed. iBerkshires regrets the error.
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