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Olga Peters/The Commons

Main Street bystanders watch as Brattleboro firefighters responded to an oven fire in an apartment on Monday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

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Papers in oven start fire

No injuries reported in Main Street mishap

BRATTLEBORO—An oven fire ignited by what firefighters described as “paper and other materials” brought emergency responders to Main Street on Monday afternoon.

The fire in an apartment located at 117 Main St., took place at about 4:30 p.m., and created a foul odor that lingered despite the afternoon’s strong breeze.

According to Capt. Ron Hubbard, a tenant had forgotten about papers stored inside the stove when she turned on the appliance.

“You’d be surprised what people store in their ovens,” said Hubbard.

Tupperware, newspapers, magazines, clothing…Hubbard’s list was surprisingly long.

Hubbard has asked some stove-storage loving homeowners why they would ever keep flammable items in a heat-generating device. The answer often follows along the lines of: it seemed like a good idea at the time.

“We strongly encourage people not to store things in their stoves,” he added.

Brattleboro Police questioned the tenant at the scene, but did not wish to comment.

A source at the scene said the tenant later received a health screening at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Firefighters broke down the door to gain access to the apartment. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire, said Hubbard and Lt. David Emery Jr.

The stove, although no longer usable, contained the fire, said Hubbard.

According to one of the building’s residents, a faint scent of smoke — as if from an extinguished candle — was noticeable in the building’s stairwell Sunday night.

By Monday afternoon, the same resident found the stairwell filled with smoke.

Seven firefighters responded to the scene in two trucks from Central Station on Elliot Street and a fire truck from Station 2 in West Brattleboro.

Fighting fires on the east side of Main Street can prove tricky, said Hubbard, because access to the buildings from the back is limited due to their close proximity to the railroad tracks.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #301 (Wednesday, April 15, 2015). This story appeared on page A2.

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