HARTLAND — A fire Tuesday morning at a tannery on Main Street damaged machinery there, but the blaze was extinguished before it could reach the building, according to Fire Chief Tim Kuespert.

A machine fire in the buffing room of Tasman Leather Group on 9 Main St. was called in by the chief at 5:22 a.m. Kuespert said he was at a store when he heard the tannery’s fire alarm go off. When he got to the building, he saw the flames coming from the machine, which buffs the leather hides and sits outside the building.

Firefighters from Hartland, Pittsfield, Canaan and St. Albans were able to knock the fire down within a half-hour, Kuespert said, fully extinguishing it after two hours.

The cause of the fire could be any number of things, he said, from a small spark to something stuck in the machine. The tannery employees already were working when the fire began, but they all were evacuated by the time Kuespert arrived.

“The workers did a very good job of slowing the fire down before we got there,” he said. They turned the sprinklers and put water on the machine, he said.

While the building wasn’t damaged and no one was hurt, the machine sustained some damage, although Kuespert said it’s repairable. He did not know if the tannery has insurance.

Fires at the business used to common, occurring about once each week, according to Kuespert. Recently, however, the Fire Department has received only about one call per year from the tannery.

No one was immediately available for comment Tuesday morning at Tasman Leather Group.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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