A former furniture store went up in flames Saturday in Northborough, Massachusetts.
The 4-alarm fire broke out at 40 West Main Street, sending huge plumes of smoke over downtown Northborough.
Firefighters managed to contain the fire before it spread to nearby businesses on either side of the building, but they faced challenges, including staffing levels and the weather.
“The heat played a big role," Northborough Fire Chief David Parenti said. "Our on-duty staffing is five, so our initial companies in were an engine and our tower...with heavy fire showing, that’s a lot of work for five guys.”
One firefighter was taken to the hospital for heat-related issues but he is expected to be OK.
The building had been vacant for years but it had been a local landmark in the center of town at one point.
“I used to buy all my furniture from R and T so there’s a lot of memories,” Susan Bessom said.
Long-time residents say the old building had become an eyesore and that it looked like it was ready to cave in even before Saturday’s fire.
"It’s just dilapidated. They still had a lot of things were remaining inside the store. It’s for the best to clean up the center of town,” Christine Moscatelli said.
Northborough residents still say it's bittersweet because so many people remember the old days when it was a thriving business in town for decades.
“So as being a native I have many, many fond memories going in the store, it was a beautiful gift shop. My father worked there part-time back in the day. They had wonderful Christmas Eve parties, just a lot of memories,” Moscatelli said.
Investigators were on the scene late Saturday night trying to figure out how this fire started. The fire chief says it’s too early to tell if it may be suspicious.