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Sharp-nosed Manager Catches Myopia Fire Early

The manager at Myopia Hunt Club thought he smelled something strange and called in firefighters quickly to help avoid extensive damage.

The sharp nose of the manager helped prevent what could have been a much more damaging fire at the Myopia clubhouse on Friday afternoon.

It was about noon on Friday when Manager Dave Cugini “smelled something odd” in the main clubhouse at the Bay Road club and called the , according to Fire Lt. Ray Brunet.

“When we got in there I could smell it and I knew what the smell was,” Brunet said, adding that he then pulled the fire alarm.

At first it was just an engine company that responded there without lights and sirens. When the alarm was pulled, it brought in a full department response, Brunet said.

Firefighters quickly pinpointed the origin of the odor to a storage room on the second floor where paper products were kept.

About 15 firefighters worked to clear the contents of the room and began opening up the walls to find what was burning.

What was left of a fire was located in the wall and wetted down, Brunet said. While it was not entirely clear what started the fire, it appeared that a piece of wood had fallen down in a void space in the wall and come in contact with the hood in the kitchen below.

It could have been worse – even though the building, built in the late 1800s, has a full fire alarm and sprinkler system. The building’s age and “balloon construction” could have still allowed the fire to spread, Brunet said.

“If it came at another time it could have taken off,”

In the end, damage was confined to the second floor storage room, a wall in the room and the hood unit in the kitchen. Cooking units were pulled away from the wall on the first floor in the search for the source of the smoke. A plumber and plumbing inspector need to be called in before those can be used again.

The Board of Health was called to inspect the kitchen and all of the food that was out at the time of the fire was thrown out.

Since the call tied up all of the Hamilton fire crews, a Manchester-by-the-Sea ladder struck and an Ipswich engine covered the Hamilton Fire Station during the call. A engine company also assisted Hamilton firefighters at Myopia.

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