Christopher LeClaire, Fire Chief
3 Greenleaf St.
Newburyport, MA 01950
For Immediate Release
Monday, Aug. 15, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Newburyport Fire Department Investigating 3-Alarm House Fire on Plum Island
NEWBURYPORT — Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire reports that the Newburyport Fire Department continues to investigate a three-alarm fire that occurred on Plum Island last night.
On Sunday, Aug. 14, around 7:30 p.m., firefighters responded to 59th Street for a reported fire at a three-story, wood frame duplex.
Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy fire on the second and third floors, which had extended into the attic and through the roof on one side of the duplex, number 7.
Residents were home on both sides of the duplex, number 7 and number 5, but safely evacuated.
Due to the extreme heat and humidity, three alarms were ordered to prevent heat exhaustion and injury to firefighters. Newburyport’s Engine 1, Engine, 2, Engine 4, Ladder 2, Car 1 and Car 2 responded to the scene and were assisted by crews from Amesbury, Newbury, West Newbury, Byfield, Groveland, Rowley, Salisbury, Merrimac, Seabrook, N.H., Hampton, N.H., Exeter, N.H., Portsmouth, N.H. and Rye, N.H. Station coverage was provided by the Haverhill, North Hampton, N.H. and Kensington, N.H. fire departments.
Fire crews were able to make an aggressive attack and contained the fire to one side of the duplex. Number 7 was completely destroyed and number 5 sustained minor damage. The home is currently uninhabitable and Chief LeClaire estimates the damage to be around $500,000.
Firefighters remained on scene until approximately 1:30 a.m. There were no reports of any injuries.
“Our firefighters, with assistance from neighboring crews in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, did an excellent job under these extreme conditions to extinguish this fire and prevent it from reaching the other side of the duplex and neighboring homes on the island,” Chief LeClaire said. “We’re thankful that no one was injured and that the residents were able to safely evacuate the building.”
The fire is believed to be caused by an electrical failure and to have started on the second floor of the home. The cause remains under investigation by the Newburyport Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office, but does not appear to be suspicious.