An early morning blaze heavily damaged a multi-family house on McKinstry Avenue early this morning.
According to police public information officer Michael Wilk, the fire broke out at 6:30 a.m. Fortunately, there was enough time for everyone in the building to escape.
The Chicopee Fire Department responded immediately and successfully brought the flames under control before they caused severe property damage.
Fire damage was concentrated on the exterior and attic of the house. There was also minor smoke and water damage on the first and second floors.
Firefighters braved icy rain and high winds that hampered their efforts.
Wilk added that the road extending from the intersection of Arcade Street to Prospect Street will likely be closed for most of the morning to let crews conduct maintenance work.
How do we protect ourselves from house fires?
Fires can go from seemingly harmless events to blazing infernos in as little as two minutes. Surprisingly, it's not the flames that are what we should be worried about, it's the extreme heat produced by the enormous flames; the super-heated air can burn your lungs when inhaled and melt the clothes you're wearing.
The smoke and toxic gases claim the most lives in house fires. As a fire burns through a home, it produces poisonous gases that cause confusion and/or disorientation. To make matters worse, fires consume all of the oxygen in the air, making breathing extremely difficult. As a result, asphyxiation is the number one cause of deaths in fires.
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