NORTHAMPTON- The cause of the fire on Sunday, April 21 that resulted in an estimated $25,000 in damage to the former Shaw’s Motel on Bridge St. in Northampton remains under investigation from Northampton fire and police, the State Police, and the Massachusetts Fire Marshal Office.
The fire was reported shortly before 7:00 P.M., when Northampton police blocked off Bridge Street between Pomeroy Terrace and Market Street until 9:15 so firefighters could stretch water supply lines from a fire hydrant across the street to the motel. About two dozen firefighters responded to the fire, which took about half an hour to extinguish and was confined mainly to the first floor and the rear of the building, the fire department reported. There were no injuries.
The site was formally declared a crime scene and was cordoned off until the following morning while investigators continued to search the building for evidence of a cause.
The building was purchased in 1949 and renovated two years later for use as as a 20-unit rooming house. It remained in operation for 61 years but has been vacant since the late 1990s. It was designated unsafe to enter by Building Commissioner Louis Hasbrouck in 2012.
Northampton’s Historical Commission voted in November to delay for a year the present owner’s request to demolish the building in order to determine if the building has enough historical significance in the community to justify preservation.
Photo courtesy of Okie Doke via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.