SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

February 21, 2014

Hamilton fire deemed accidental

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff Writer

---- — HAMILTON — The four-alarm fire on Bridge Street Wednesday night is being called accidental, but no cause has been determined, according to fire officials.

“It is not being considered suspicious,” said fire Chief Philip Stevens.

Crews remained at the scene overnight, until 11:30 yesterday morning so the home could be boarded up, he said. The state fire marshal’s office is investigating.

“It did start in the basement, but we don’t know what exactly started it,” Stevens said.

Stevens said the reason four alarms were called was because of the cold weather. “We needed to rotate crews,” he said.

Seven area fire companies assisted in the effort.

There was an issue with one fire hydrant that firefighters couldn’t access because of ice that had piled up. At one point, two ladder trucks attacked the flames “for a short time,” Stevens said. The flames eventually spread through the house and broke through the roof.

Firefighters responded to 279 Bridge St. at 3:41 p.m. Wednesday. No injuries were reported, and the residents, Fred and Gay Hammond, were able to save their two cairn terriers, along with a few paintings.