GLOUCESTER – Fire Chief Eric Smith reports that the Gloucester Fire Department extinguished a fire at a home on Maplewood Avenue this afternoon.
At about 4 p.m. on Monday, May 31, Gloucester Fire responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting smoke coming from a two-and-a-half story wood frame home at 98 Maplewood Ave., adjacent to Oak Grove Cemetery. The first fire rescue crews arrived to discover black smoke showing from a top dormer.
The Engine 1 crew of Acting Capt. Dave Barrett and Firefighters Jeff Romeo and Anthony Dellacroce stretched a line to access the area of the fire. The Ladder 1 crew of Acting Lt. Domenic Gambale, and Firefighters Jason Thibodeau, Tom Adrich, and Matt Aiello used ground ladders for access and egress to the top floor, and controlled utilities.
The aggressive attack brought the fire quickly under control.
Firefighters Dave Osier and Lukas McRobb conducted a thorough search of the home in response to an unconfirmed report of someone trapped inside. That report turned out to be in error.
No one was inside the home at the time and no injuries were reported. Fire rescue crews left the scene at about 5:25 p.m.
Chief Smith estimates that the home sustained moderate damage to the attic level and minor damage on the second floor. The residents will stay with relatives until the home is habitable and permitted by the Building Commissioner.
The Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau Lt. Tom Sayess and Deputy Chief Andrew McRobb conducted an on-scene investigation and determined the fire was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials. Lt. Sayess and Deputy McRobb further determined that the home did not have working smoke detectors.
“A quick response prevented this fire from causing more damage. But this incident could have ended in tragedy. Smoke detectors save lives,” Chief Smith said. “I urge everyone to regularly ensure that their smoke detectors are working and up-to-date.”
Companies responding were Engines 1, 2, and 3, Ladder 1, Rescue 1, and Car 3. Beauport Ambulance was on standby to provide emergency medical services. Engine 5 covered Department headquarters, along with Rockport Engine 3 on mutual aid.