No injuries result from Bridge Street fire in Shelburne Falls


Staff Writers

Published: 07-14-2023 2:56 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — A grow light in an apartment above an attached garage is the likely culprit behind a fire that damaged the two-story building housing Trailside Health at 111 Bridge St. on Friday morning, according to the Shelburne Falls fire chief.

Herb Guyette said about 30 firefighters from seven departments responded to the fire after a neighbor called it in at 7:13 a.m. There were no injuries as the owner, Dr. Stefan Topolski, and his children were not home. Guyette said one of the owner’s cats was rescued from the building and the other escaped on its own.

The fire was contained to the space above the attached garage. The chief said the property’s back portion is now uninhabitable but he sees no reason the medical office cannot function as normal. The Trailside Health medical clinic is closed Fridays.

Guyette said Topolski has insurance and has lined up alternate housing.

An email seeking comment from Trailside Health was not returned by press time. However, a post on its Facebook page stated the office will be open for business as planned on Monday morning.

“The police and fire departments did a consummately professional and amazing job,” the post states. “I cannot imagine any possibly better outcome. We are so relieved and happy today.”

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Guyette said the damage will cost roughly “$20,000 to $30,000, if I had to venture a guess.” He said fire hydrants were used to extinguish the blaze and firefighters cleared the scene at 11:17 a.m.

The chief said the Shelburne Falls Fire District had help from departments from Shelburne, Colrain, Buckland, Greenfield, Charlemont and Conway. The Ashfield Fire Department provided station coverage in Shelburne Falls. Colrain Ambulance also responded.

Reach Paul Franz at or 413-930-4128. Reach Domenic Poli at or 413-930-4120.