Firefighters quickly extinguish blaze at Tsuga Studios

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

A Chester firefighter works the fire from a ladder on the roof, while others in air packs work the interior. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

Just before 5:30 on Wednesday evening, the Chester Fire Department was called out to a fire at Tsuga Studios on Goldthwaite Road, home of art glass maker Nick Kekic.

According to Fire Chief Matt Wilson, much earlier in the day, a small fire had started near the furnace flue and Kekic put it out with a garden hose. Checking on it later in the day, Kekic noticed smoke and called the Fire Department.

“The fire rekindled and got into the wall,” said Wilson. “It went up the wall and into the third floor loft, which was fully involved when we arrived. You can see where it melted the windows.”

Assistant Fire Chief Ben Whalen explains the actions of firefighters to Kekic and one of his daughters.

Wilson told The Telegraph that “blown in” insulation used in the construction holds heat and necessitated the use of air-pack breathing apparatus so firefighters could work in the building without breathing the particles. “It’s nasty stuff to work with,” said Wilson.

“We first fired the furnace in 2000 and never had a mishap,” said Kekic, who had just restarted the furnace after an August break.

Kekic said he was grateful for the quick response and the professionalism of the firefighters.

Kekic noted that he’s in midst of a busy glass blowing season and this puts him behind schedule.

“It could have been so much worse,” he said. “I guess I’m lucky.”

Firefighters from Proctorsville and Springfield and the Chester Ambulance also responded to the fire while a crew from Bellows Falls covered the Chester Fire Station.



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  1. Laura Thomas says:

    Nick & Kekic family,
    So sorry. Blessings to you during this stressful time. So glad it was taken care of quickly! Whew!!! Yay for the quality help from the fire department!

  2. Matthew Gorsky says:

    Nick, glad to see the damage was contained quickly and no one was hurt. Good job Chester FD.

  3. Nick Kekic says:

    Thank you Chester FD for the quick response and the effort to help save my glass equipment from unnecessary damage. I feel lucky to have such a supportive community of friends and neighbors and appreciate all the outreach and offers for help. The clean up and rebuild will begin next week. Thank you to everyone involved.

  4. Knockout carpet says:

    As always our firefighters are the best. Thank you again

  5. Leigh Dakin says:

    Thank You Chester crew and all who helped and covered! 😱😍