Dozens of firefighters are battling a persistent fire at an apartment building on Houghton Street.

According to city firefighters have been joined by members of the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Department in trying to bring the blaze under control since before 1 p.m. The fire appeared concentrated on the third floor of the mansard-style building.

The building at 246-248 Houghton St. sits at the corner of Houghton and Brooklyn streets and all traffic is being detoured from Liberty Street north. It has been owned, through a trust, by the late Charles R. Ransford since 1999.

There are six apartments in the 1870 structure that once housed an annex of the North Adams Public Library. It is not yet clear who might have been in the building at the time the fire started.

Heavy smoke poured into the sky above the building and flames poked through the roof in numerous spots. One firefighter who attempted to gain the third story deck in the rear was pushed back when flames erupted along the back edge of the building.

A woman said she'd rushed over when a neighbor had pointed to the smoke pouring out of the building. She was worried about her cousins and their dog but said they'd been able to flee the building. Several other occupants were displaced by the fire and were awaiting aid from the Red Cross.

The amount of water being poured on the structure was also affecting households in the area. The city through a Code Red alert advised neighboring areas to Houghton that their water may be brown or low pressure.

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