SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 6, 2012

Danvers chimney fire quickly knocked down

BY ETHAN FORMAN STAFF WRITER
The Salem News

---- — DANVERS — No one was injured in a single-alarm chimney fire at a home at 16 Whipple St. that firefighters from Danvers and Middleton quickly doused yesterday afternoon.

They were alerted before the flames spread, thanks in part to a nurse’s aide who just happened to check on a neighbor earlier than usual.

No one was home when the fire broke out just after noon yesterday, fire Chief Kevin Farrell said, and the owner’s small dog was with her at the time.

Nurse’s aide Terry Puglisi of Gloucester was visiting a resident on Pine Street just after noon yesterday.

The resident’s driveway and garage are around the corner on Whipple Street, a hilly street in a wooded area of town off Vineyard Street.

As Puglisi looked up the hill while getting out of her SUV, something caught her eye.

“I just glimpsed something that looked like fire,” Puglisi said.

She saw flames shooting out of the house by the chimney and called for help.

“They are new owners,” Puglisi said. “I feel sorry for them. They haven’t lived there that long.”

The call for the fire came in at 12:37 p.m., Farrell said, and firefighters of Engine 2 quickly got it under control.

“It was a great stop by Group 2,” Farrell said, praising the hard work by firefighters under fire Capt. Bob Pyburn.

Farrell said the fire most likely spread from the fireplace.

“It appears that they had fire in the fireplace (Sunday) night, and there were some holes in the firebox, which allowed either embers or the flame to penetrate through worn areas of the firebox,” Farrell said.

Fire spread into the wood of the wall surrounding the fireplace, and that’s where firefighters managed to contain it. Flames were visible from the outside of the home when firefighters arrived, Farrell said.

After firefighters extinguished the flames, smoke could be seen billowing out of the eaves.

Firefighters climbed the ladder of Danvers Engine 5 to reach the outside of the chimney and cut holes in the side of the building.

The home, which sold this year, is assessed at $325,000, according to town records.

Danvers Engines 2, 3 and 5 and Rescue 1 and a Middleton engine responded, along with Roger Baker’s Rehab Five unit. No firefighters were injured.

“Everyone came home safe,” Farrell said.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.