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A fire heavily damaged a western Massachusetts apartment house, displacing seven people and requiring approximately 100 firefighters from 17 departments to extinguish.

The fire started shortly before 3 a.m. Thursday in the kitchen of a Montague apartment house, Fox Boston reported, adding that all seven residents and a guest escaped, but a dog perished in the blaze.

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John Taylor, Shelburne Center fire chief, said in a MassLive report that the first arriving fighters directly attacked the fire in the second floor apartment on Dry Hill Road. "Apparently it extended into the attic area from the kitchen," he was quoted. "Trying to extinguish it became problematic."


About 100 firefighters from 17 different departments battled the blaze, and trucks had to shuttle water from a hydrant about a quarter mile away due to a lack of hydrants in the area, MassLive stated.

Although initial reports indicated the building was destroyed, David Hansen, assistant chief of the Montague Center Fire Department, said that while the second floor was clearly destroyed, the first floor might be salvageable, MassLive added.

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Authorities suspect that grease was the cause of the flames, Fox stated, adding that a trooper with the state Fire Marshal's office is investigating.

The American Red Cross ran a canteen at the scene and is aiding those displaced, according to MassLive.