A fire in Sandisfield’s municipal garage has left the town without any snow plows and another storm is expected to hit Berkshire County on Tuesday.
Road Superintendent Bobby O’Brien said the fire broke out Sunday morning around 9:35 a.m., just minutes after he had left the facility. He found out when he got a phone call from a sheriff, informing him that the building was ablaze.
“We weren’t gone from that building for four, maybe five minutes,” said O’Brien, “and it was fully engulfed.”
The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire, which appears to have started in the furnace, O’Brien said. Several town vehicles were destroyed in the fire.
“We lost all four of our big trucks,” he said.
Located in Western Massachusetts, the town of Sandisfield is home to approximately 900 full-time residents, but it boasts the most square miles of any town in Berkshire County, according to the town’s website. Sandisfield is located along the border of Connecticut, approximately 125 miles west of Boston.
O’Brien said he’s one of four people in Sandisfield’s public works department (there’s just him, two full-time employees, and one part-timer) and they’re responsible for maintaining 90 miles of roads.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the area for Tuesday, with forecasters calling for 3 to 6 inches of snow and “slippery road conditions.”
But without any equipment, it’s unclear how the Sandisfield public works department will be able to sand and plow the roads on their own, so they may have to rely on the state and surrounding communities to help get the job done.
On Monday morning O’Brien said he was going to meet with state and local officials and discuss what steps should be taken next and what kind of assistance the state might be able to provide.
With snow looming in the forecast, O’Brien said: “I’ve got a long road ahead of me.”Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.