Gas Heater Cause of MA Micro Brewery Blaze

Thursday, January 31, 2019 @ 12:01 PM gHale

After a two-alarm fire caused by a malfunctioning gas heater on Monday, Start Line Brewing Company in Hopkinton, MA, will close for about a week to clean everything up.

“The brewery is mostly unaffected,” said Start Line owner Ted Twinney in a published report. “We’re going to be closed for a week or so while we clean up. We’re located on the south side of the property, and the fire was on the north side.”

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Firefighters got the call 11:40 p.m. Monday at 151R Hayden Rowe St. answering an alarm, said Fire Chief Stephen T. Slaman.

Smoke was coming from the roof and the department called for a second alarm, bringing in help from the Southborough, Westborough, Milford and Ashland fire departments.

“We found an active fire in the building,” said Slaman. “They were able to get two hand lines (hoses) inside and they were able to get the fire under control pretty quickly.”

Although the fire was contained to the second-floor maintenance closet, which housed the natural gas forced-air heater, smoke spread throughout the building, Slaman said.
No one suffered in injury in the incident.
The Hopkinton Fire Department and the state Fire Marshal’s office determined the fire, caused by a malfunctioning gas heater, was not suspicious. Slaman said he did not have a damage estimate.

Although the brewery equipment and the brewing area were untouched, Twinney said the brewery will be closed so everything can be cleaned up.

“Everyone is fine, and we’re all feeling pretty good,” he said. “We’re still distributing our beers and they’ll be available in stores.”

Start Line Brewing Company opened in November 2016 in a small section of the Water Fresh Farm. Last year, they announced they were expanding inside the large post-and-beam building.
Those plans are still a go, Twinney said.

“It may have a small, but not a major, effect on our expansion plans,” he said. “It was mostly minor.”



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