A five alarm blaze ripped through a historic brick building located in the center of Ashburnham, MA on Tuesday Jan.27th. The building, built in 1855, housed the local hardware store and was the last standing historic building in the center of town. The 8 a.m. fire rapidly progressed through the building bringing Mutual Aid from Nine communities from Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Several people inside the building at the time the fire broke out escaped without injury.
The fire, which took several hours to extinguish, was discovered by a Call Firefighter Battalion Chief on his way to work that morning. It was determined that the fire started when an employee who was cleaning a Pellet Stove put hot ashes in a bag out by the loading dock at the rear of the building.
The fire also damaged the Town's Central Fire Station which was located adjacent to the fire building. The water runoff undermined the foundation and rear wall of the fire station which has been determined uninhabitable by the local building inspector. The fire department is now housing their apparatus between their South Station and other town facilities.