STONEHAM — Chief Matthew Grafton reports that the Stoneham Fire Department extinguished a three-alarm fire over the course of several hours Saturday, during which they rescued a dog and prevented the flames from spreading to nearby buildings.
At 11:13 a.m. today, Stoneham firefighters in Group 2 under the command of Capt. Jim Marshall were dispatched to 24 Hersam St. while 911 dispatchers answered 25 separate calls reporting a house fire at that location.
Upon arrival, first arriving crews observed heavy fire and smoke coming from the third floor of the three-story, three-family home and immediately attempted to conduct a primary search of the building and interior attack.
Firefighters initiated a search of the building but were pushed back by extreme heat once they reached the third floor, which soon became fully engulfed in flames, forcing firefighters to evacuate due to safety concerns. Crews ultimately conducted an exterior defensive attack, working to extinguish the flames while preventing the fire from spreading to nearby homes.
Moments after arriving on-scene Capt. Marshall struck a second alarm, and a short time later Chief Grafton ordered a third alarm, bringing additional mutual aid support from numerous communities.
Crews learned that a neighbor alerted the residents living in the third-floor unit to the danger, which ensured they were able to escape to safety. With the assistance of Stoneham Police, firefighters were able to determine that everyone inside the home was accounted for, and firefighters did rescue a dog from inside.
“The crews who responded this morning did absolutely incredible work to determine the best approach to attacking this fire and execute on their plan in order to save lives and protect nearby properties from damage,” Chief Grafton said. “I want to thank all of the firefighters from ours and other departments who answered the call today, plus Dispatchers Brian Johnson and Mike Sweeny for their calm, professional response while carrying their responsibilities. I also want to thank the Boston Sparks Association’s Rehab Unit, which provided invaluable support on-scene during a lengthy and challenging firefight.”
Stoneham Fire was assisted on-scene by the Stoneham Police Department, as well as its mutual aid partners from the Reading, Winchester, Wakefield, Melrose, North Reading, Saugus, Medford, Burlington, Wilmington, Malden and Woburn Fire Departments. The Everett, Medford and Malden Fire Departments also provided station coverage throughout the incident. Action Ambulance, The Stoneham Department of Public Works and the Boston Sparks A-10 Rehab Unit also responded to the scene.
A Reading Firefighter was treated on-scene for a leg injury.
The home was deemed a total loss.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Stoneham Fire Department and the Office of the State Fire Marshal.