GLOUCESTER — Chief Eric Smith reports that the Gloucester Fire Department extinguished a house fire Saturday morning.
At approximately 10:30 a.m., Gloucester firefighters responded to a 911 call of a fire at a single-family home at 498 Washington St. The fire was reported by boaters on the Annisquam River who saw the blaze from the water.
The fire was well advanced by the time firefighters arrived on scene, and heavy smoke could be seen coming from the home upon arrival.
Firefighters were met by neighbors who stated the family was not home. An initial attack was made, but firefighters were driven back by intense heat.
Companies then transitioned to an exterior attack on the fire. The Gloucester Police Safe Boat and Harbor Master boats were able to take fire officers onboard and direct master streams on the home from the riverside, as access from the land side was limited.
The fire was knocked down by 11:30 a.m. but continued to flare up due to firefighters not being able to enter the building to extinguish and overhaul.
Due to extensive damage the home has been declared unsafe for entry by the Fire Commissioner.
There were no civilian injuries as a result of the fire. One firefighter was treated and released from a nearby hospital. The family’s pets, believed to be two dogs, are presumed to be victims of the fire.
The occupants of the home declined housing assistance.
“This fire was well advanced by the time firefighters arrived, and the terrain made the response more difficult, but all crews on scene did a tremendous job in containing and ultimately extinguishing the fire, along with the crucial assistance from the Gloucester Police Safe Boat,” Chief Smith said. “We also commend the boaters for calling in the fire when they witnessed it from the water.”
The Rockport Fire Department and the Essex Fire Department assisted on scene, and the Manchester Fire Department provided station coverage. Beauport EMS provided standby at the fire and coverage for the city.
The fire remains under investigation by the Gloucester Fire Department and State Fire Marshal’s Office.