Chief Nelson on scene 1100 South East Street 6:10 PM
Ladder 1, Engine 1 on scene 1100 South East Street
For the second time in less than a month Amherst Fire Department scrambled to a box alarm after smoke was reported in a dwelling. This time it was 1100 South East Street, the former home of former long-time Town Manager Allen Torrey.
AFD Chief Nelson confirms there were no injuries to first responders or residents of the home, although an ambulance was called about an hour after the fire was first reported just as a precautionary evaluation of the tenants for carbon monoxide.
Chief Nelson also confirms that after a routine investigation by his Fire Investigation Unit (the Chief does not like the term "Arson Squad" because "It makes the most innocuous seem sinister") the fire was NOT considered suspicious.
Apparently a stuffed chair had smouldered for a long period of time (with the HVAC system sending the carbon monoxide and soot throughout the house) but never actually burst into flame.
Engine 2 (the quint) on scene 222 Belchertown Road 11/29/14
The other structure fire AFD handled a little over two weeks ago at 222 Belchertown Road was far more sinister.
Mark Andre, 54, will remain incarcerated until 1/2/15 "dangerousness hearing"
In Eastern Hampshire District Court yesterday before Judge Shea, Mark Andre was ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation and his arson case was continued until January 2, 2015.
The state will argue for a Chapter 58A too-dangerous-to-be-out-on-bail decree at that hearing.
Fortunately, he will stay behind bars until then.