, Salem, MA

December 24, 2013

Candle might have caused First Street blaze

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — SALEM — Authorities say nobody was injured during a bedroom fire at an apartment building on First Street on Saturday night, but 10 units there sustained water damage.

The Fire Department responded to 10 First St. after an 8:21 p.m. report of the blaze. Nobody was home at the time, so firefighters with Engine 4 forced entry to the sixth-floor unit and then quickly doused the blaze with two handheld extinguishers, said Deputy fire Chief Gerry Giunta.

The building’s sprinkler system had contained the fire, which began somehow in the corner of the room near the bed’s headboard, then spread to the mattress, box spring and a hamper full of clothes.

Giunta said a candle might have caused the fire, though the investigation is ongoing.

Water from the sprinkler system reached at least 10 other apartments, some of which were as far down as the second floor. Giunta said the building’s residents had been helpful in clearing water from the hallways.

It was unclear whether the residents of the apartment were able to remain in their unit. According to a statement yesterday from the Red Cross, volunteers were “following up with two residents affected to make sure all their needs are met.”

Crews were on scene until just past 10 p.m.