LANESBOROUGH -- An electrical short sparked a fire that engulfed a tractor-trailer truck and damaged the repair shop building it was in Thursday at Village Truck Sales on Route 8.
Chief Charlie Durfee of the Lanesborough Volunteer Fire Department said the fire was reported around 6:20 a.m. on Thursday.
Firefighters arrived to the auto body repair shop on the property and found the 1991 Peterbilt tractor trailer truck unit on fire.
"We knocked it out fairly quickly and dragged the truck outside with a fork truck to ensure it was all out," Durfee said.
The department received mutual aid support from the Cheshire, Savoy and Hancock fire departments.
The fire was put out using a foam spray.
Though Durfee consulted with the state arson investigation unit, he ruled the fire accidental due to an apparent electrical short in the truck.
The chief said the truck was a total loss, and the building, though structurally sound, took heavy heat damage to the interior. In total, Durfee estimated the fire caused a minimum of $175,000 in damages.
Robert Szczepaniak, vice president and son of owner Joe Szczepaniak, said the truck was brought in Wednesday for maintenance and repairs.
The building, one of three on the property, is insured, but Szczepaniak said the damage is devastating.
Village Truck Sales is a third-generation, family-owned business that has been in operation for 70 years, according to its
"The building that caught fire was our grandfather's original gas station. It's kind of a tearjerker this morning. Even though we're covered insurance-wise, there will never be enough money to cover the loss," he said.
Szczepaniak said the business opened as usual Thursday despite the fire.
"The support from the local community and the public has been incredible. Our phones have been ringing off the hook all morning. We're going to keep on going on here," he said.