Tisbury firefighters respond to West Chop house fire

Luis D'Agostino, of the Tisbury Fire Department, runs to the scene of the fire at 209 Quinsigamond Ave. –Gabrielle Mannino

The owners of the seasonal home at 209 Quinsigamond Ave. in Tisbury can count themselves lucky.

A crew of workmen were on the job next door early Monday morning when they heard smoke detectors going off in the stately West Chop residence, and called the caretaker.

According to Tisbury Fire Chief John Schilling, when the caretaker arrived, there was a light haze of smoke in the first floor of the house.

Tisbury firefighters arrived at the scene at about 8:45 am. “When we opened the bulkhead doors, the basement was filled with thick black smoke,” Chief Schilling told The Times. “There was zero visibility. The basement was [built] so tight, no smoke was escaping. It was pretty extraordinary. There was no reason anyone outside would have initially suspected a fire.”

Schilling said the fire melted PVC plumbing and scorched the joists above.

“Right now it appears a spark from a basement dehumidifier is the cause,” he said. “There wasn’t a fire alarm in the house, just your typical smoke alarms. The homeowners are very lucky people were working next door.”

There was no one home at the time of the fire, and no firefighters were injured.

“We had a great response, especially considering it’s school vacation week and a lot of people are gone,” Chief Schilling said. “Oak Bluffs and Edgartown provided mutual aid while West Tisbury covered our station. The system worked just the way it’s supposed to.”