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Fire guts Brimfield house


Officials investigating five-alarm blaze



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A fast-moving fire destroyed this house at 8 Oakwood Road in Brimfield Thursday, Dec. 23, leaving a family of five homeless. While the fire is being investigated, the community is coming to the family’s aid. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
December 29, 2010
BRIMFIELD — A five-alarm blaze destroyed a house on 8 Oakwood Road and displaced a family of five just two days before Christmas.

It was the second fire in as many years at that address.

According to State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, initial inspections of the house suggest that the fire started accidentally, although a thorough investigation will take place within the next few weeks to determine the exact cause of the fire.

"We have an ongoing investigation, and we will not be more specific until we complete the work that has to be done," Coan said.

Robert Wemyss, a Brimfield call firefighter who owns the house, had recently finished rebuilding it after an April 2009 fire caused significant damage.

Wemyss was the sole occupant of the house Thursday morning when the fire started somewhere in the front portion of the house shortly after 10 a.m. He lived there with his 19-year-old son, T.J., his girlfriend, Tina Birchenough, and her two children, but luckily none of them was home when the rapidly spreading fire engulfed the house.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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