By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — BEVERLY — The Fire Department is investigating a bedroom blaze at an Essex Street senior complex that displaced an elderly man yesterday afternoon.
Led by Capt. Kevin Smith, firefighters responded to 237 Essex St. after receiving a central station alarm at 5:23 p.m. Lt. Donald Philpot said the fire was contained to the first-floor apartment’s bedroom, which sustained extensive damage to its furnishings, walls and ceiling.
“It was a pretty quick knockdown,” Philpot said. “The guys did a good job.”
The lone occupant of the apartment was out shopping at the time, and nobody was injured.
A neighbor told firefighters that they believed the man had a propane tank inside his residence, but that report proved to be erroneous, Philpot said.
Although the fire did not extend beyond the bedroom, the man’s unit did sustain heavy smoke damage to the bathroom. Two neighboring apartments also sustained smoke damage.
Headquarters coverage was provided by Salem, Danvers and Manchester-by-the-Sea during the incident.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, and investigators were still on the scene around 8 p.m.