This morning the residents of Fornaci di Barga found themselves with a huge pall of black smoke towering above them and an acrid smell in the air as the Brico Io garden and DIY centre just on the outskirts of the town at loc. Mencagli caught fire.
The blaze quickly destroyed most of the centre and then despite the efforts of the local fire service, soon moved across to the nearby medical centre, the Poliambulatorio La Fornace which only opened its doors to the public 2 years ago (article here)
Houses and business near to the blaze were evacuated as the burning paint and plastics in the centre turned the air acrid with thick black smoke which could be seen right across the valley.
There was a bizarre moment during the fire when the long dormant chimney in the middle of the medical centre, more or less the only surviving element of the long gone brick making factory that once stood there, started to belch smoke.
There were a few wry comments from some of the older residents watching the scene from a safe distance, never thinking that they would see the chimney working once again.
There is no news at present as to how the fire started by word in the piazza is that is was first seen in the wood section of the centre.
There are no reports of any causalities.
The fire comes at a difficult time for the Gruppo Potenti S.p.A. based at Ponte all’Ania who only just recently broke the news that because of the economic crisis, 55 of their shops were in danger of closing, with the loss of 558 jobs. (article here)