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Family regroups after fire destroys home


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Julie Zamora was asleep at home Friday afternoon when the fire broke out in her family's home in the 600 block of Brook Street. She credits a neighbor's persistent efforts to rouse her with possibly saving her life. The dwelling was destroyed. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)
Julie Zamora was asleep at home Friday afternoon when the fire broke out in her family's home in the 600 block of Brook Street. She credits a neighbor's persistent efforts to rouse her with possibly saving her life. The dwelling was destroyed. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)


GREENFIELD — The Zamoras have lived just south of downtown Greenfield for the past 21 years, and they have no intention of leaving behind the place they call home.

On Friday, a fire consumed the family’s two-story house in the 600 block of Brook Street. Monday, with a pile of rubble sitting on the lot cordoned off by caution tape, the family was already talking about plans to rebuild.

“We’re gonna stay right there,” Julie Zamora said Monday. “We have wonderful neighbors all the way around.”

It was one of those neighbors Zamora credits with saving her life Friday.

Zamora, 44, was the only one home when the fire broke out. Having worked a night shift the night before, she was sleeping when a neighbor began pounding on the door to alert her to the flames coming out of the back of the house.

Zamora, who lives in the home with her husband and their daughter’s fiance, said she had just fallen asleep less than an hour before.

“I wasn’t even going to answer (the door),” she said.

“Then, she was hollering. She’s my savior right now.”

When fire officials arrived, it appeared they would be able to extinguish the flames at the back of the house, Greenfield Fire Department Chief James Roberts said.

But firefighters soon learned it was what they couldn’t see that was causing most of the problem.

The home is old, Zamora said, and has been added on to over the years.

As a result, the fire quickly went into the void spaces between the walls, wreaking havoc while still being invisible to firefighters.

Firefighters who made their way to the second floor found no flames but felt the heat beneath their boots.

“They couldn’t find the fire anywhere,” Roberts said. “It was between the first floor and the second floor, … just areas we could not access. It was next to impossible even to find it.”

Zamora escaped the house, unharmed.

Monday, she said the family was staying in a hotel along with the family dogs, and plans are well under way for taking the steps to rebuild.

The family had homeowners’ insurance and doesn’t need money or other donations, Zamora said.

“We are doing fine,” she said. “We just want to thank everyone for their outreach.”

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