Press Release

Press Release Employee to Face Charges in Lanesborough Restaurant Fire

One Firefighter Transported from Scene as a Precaution
For immediate release:
8/29/2022
  • Department of Fire Services

Media Contact for Employee to Face Charges in Lanesborough Restaurant Fire

Jake Wark, Public Information Officer

DFS logo with the words "fire investigation"

LANESBOROUGHLanesborough Fire Chief Jeffrey DeChaine, Lanesborough Police Chief Robert Derksen, and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said that yesterday’s fire at a Main Street restaurant was intentionally set.

“I’d like to thank our firefighters and mutual aid partners for their work containing this fire and preventing even greater damage,” said Chief DeChaine. “The joint investigation with our local and state partners has identified the suspect as an employee of the restaurant who will be summonsed to court at a later date.”

The fire at the Olde Forge Restaurant was first reported at about 10:00 yesterday morning. The Lanesborough Fire Department responded to find fire showing from the rear of the building. Firefighters immediately began suppression efforts that kept the fire from spreading into the rest of the building. The fire departments of Cheshire, Dalton, Hancock, and Hinsdale also responded to assist. The fire was contained within an hour and operations at the scene continued until about 1:00 pm. One firefighter was transported from the scene as a precaution for possible heat exhaustion but has recovered.

The origin and cause of the fire were jointly investigated by the Lanesborough Fire Department, Lanesborough Police Department, and State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office. The investigation determined that the fire had been intentionally set by an employee, an adult male, using smoking materials. That person will be summonsed to Pittsfield District Court.

There were more than 600 arsons in Massachusetts last year, State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said. Collectively, they caused 11 fire service injuries, eight civilian injuries, three deaths, and more than $3 million in damages.

“Anyone with information on an intentionally set fire can share it with investigators confidentially,” he said. “The Arson Watch Reward Program is run by the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriters Association and provides rewards of up to $5,000 for information that detects or prevents arson. Call 1-800-682-9229 any time, day or night.”

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Media Contact for Employee to Face Charges in Lanesborough Restaurant Fire

Department of Fire Services 

The Department of Fire Services helps keep communities safe. We provide firefighter training, public education, fire prevention, code enforcement, licensing, fire investigation, hazardous material response, and emergency response.
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