Basement fire extinguished before it spread

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There was a big response to a fire on Barnes Road just before 11:30 am Tuesday. - Rich Saltzberg

Updated July 28

Oak Bluffs firefighters knocked down a basement fire at 24 Fitchburg Ave. late Tuesday morning, stopping a fast-spreading blaze. “We were able to stop it before it got into the walls,” Deputy Chief Manuel Rose said.

Edgartown and Tisbury firefighters responded in mutual aid at the scene. West Tisbury firefighters covered the Oak Bluffs Fire Station. 

The fire response blocked Barnes Road for roughly an hour as fire hoses and emergency vehicles clogged the area. 

Rose said it appears solar contractors discovered a tripped breaker in a basement panel and reset it. It evidently retripped, he said, and ignited. 

About 40 percent of the basement was consumed, Rose said, but nobody was injured. The first and second floors of the house, which was unoccupied, suffered some degree of smoke damage, he said.

Because it was such a hot day, Rose said, Oak Bluffs called an extra alarm in anticipation firefighters would get exhausted more quickly. He described the experience firefighters had in their turnout gear as an “extremely hot” one.

The Oak Bluffs Fire Department rehabilitation truck was on scene, and bottled water was being handed out to firefighters, some of whom could be seen slick with sweat during their breaks. 

Despite any anecdotal evidence, the official cause of the fire remains under investigation, Rose said.

Updated to include more details.