Multi-alarm fire in Lowell apartment building spreads to neighbouring home
Nearly two dozen residents of two multi-family homes in Lowell, Massachusetts, have been displaced by a multi-alarm fire in the city.
The five-alarm fire started in one house on Clare Street Sunday morning and spread into a neighboring home. There are several apartment units in each building.
“I went in my bathroom and my screen window started burning. I then saw the flames from the second-floor porch next door,” said Michael Prak, who owns one of the homes that caught fire. “I knocked on the door of my niece, my wife and my tenants to make sure they got out.”
Videos and photos from the scene showed heavy flames and smoke coming through the roofs of those homes.
“It got bad real fast, and that just goes to show how fast a fire can just wipe out everything you have,” said neighborhood resident Amanda Tugman.
Fire crews from at least eight surrounding communities responded to the scene to get the blaze under control.
Lowell fire Chief Phillip Charron says firefighters who were driving by on their way to a different call saw the flames in the alley and got to work.
The city of Lowell, and the rest of the Merrimack Valley, are under a heat advisory until 8 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Charron says four firefighters were transported to an area hospital, and three of them had to be treated for heat exhaustion.
“The heat and the heat index are really killing us,” Charron said.
Charron says 22 residents have been displaced by the fire, which witnesses say appeared to have started on a second-floor porch. The Red Cross of Massachusetts and the Salvation Army of Massachusetts say they are providing assistance to the displaced residents.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.