Smoke leads to building evacuation in Amherst

  • Smoke from an electrical short Monday morning led to the brief evacuation of a building at 39 Boltwood Walk. The smoke filled the yoga room of the closed Fire and Water Yoga and Juice Bar pictured here in 2015. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Thursday, January 11, 2018

AMHERST — Officials briefly evacuated a downtown building Monday morning after smoke from an electrical short in the basement filled the restaurants, apartments and offices on the upper floors.

Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said the Amherst Fire Department got a still alarm around 10:15 a.m. from the closed Fire and Water Yoga and Juice Bar, 39 Boltwood Walk, following an apparent electrical short in the ceiling of the yoga studio’s large room.

Nelson said firefighters found a small area smoldering, and then set off a box alarm as precaution to get more personnel to the scene in case the active fire had spread. The damage was confined to a 3 foot by 3 foot space.

“Minor damage, but it produced a lot of smoke,” Nelson said.

As a precaution, staff at Arigato Sushi restaurant, 11 North Pleasant St., and people in apartments and offices in the building were asked to leave for about 30 minutes before they could go back inside.

Nelson said the department’s investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the short.

Fire and Water Yoga, which opened in 2015, recently announced it has closed and is providing refunds to members.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.