BECKET, Mass. — An early-morning fire at the renowned Jacob’s Pillow dance center in Massachusetts destroyed a theater building Tuesday, but there were no reports of injuries.

The fire at the Doris Duke Theatre was reported at about 7 a.m., Becket Fire Chief Paul Mikaniewicz told The Berkshire Eagle.

Firefighters arrived to find flames on the right side of the building. A short time later, the 216-seat wooden theater went up in flames with sound that Mikaniewicz described as like a tornado.

A hydrant on the property wasn’t working, so firefighters had to shuttle water in and get water from a nearby pond, he said.

About 30 firefighters from several local fire departments responded.

The state Fire Marshal’s office is investigating. The cause has not been determined.


Pamela Tatge, the theater’s artistic and executive director, told the newspaper that the damage is limited to the Doris Duke Theatre. An email seeking comment was left with a center spokesperson.

There is another, larger theater on the grounds.

Jacob’s Pillow canceled its 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The theater dates to the early 1930s. The Jacob’s Pillow property was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 2003.

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