SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

December 14, 2012

Firefighter hurt in Marblehead blaze

By Bethany Bray
STAFF WRITER

---- — MARBLEHEAD — A two-alarm fire severely damaged a single-family home on McKinley Road yesterday morning and injured a Swampscott firefighter.

The occupants of 15 McKinley Road were not home when garbage collectors noticed smoke around 8:25 a.m. and called the Fire Department.

Crews from Swampscott, Lynn and Salem joined Marblehead firefighters in battling the blaze, which started in the basement and burned through the first floor.

“As soon as we went in the front door, we could see that the floor was gone,” Marblehead fire Capt. Michael Porter said. “They (firefighters) did a great job. It was a dangerous, difficult fire to fight.”

Firefighters who went in a back door also found floors burned away, Porter said, and thick smoke conditions added to the challenge.

“It was just difficult to get at,” he said. “They did a fantastic job of keeping that (fire) from going right up through the roof.”

A Swampscott firefighter was injured while he was inside the home. He was taken to Salem Hospital and was expected to be released last night, Swampscott Deputy Chief James Potts said.

Potts declined to identify the firefighter or the nature of his injuries but said they were non-life-threatening. The injured firefighter has worked for the department since the 1980s, Potts said.

McKinley Road is off Atlantic Avenue, not far from Marblehead High School.

Fire crews were on the scene for more than three hours, and investigators stayed at the house through the afternoon. The fire’s cause had not been determined as of last night.

The fire’s damage was severe enough that the family cannot stay in the home for the near future, Porter said. Town records show the owners of 15 McKinley Road as Jayson and Marilyn Score.

The Scores could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Massachusetts fire marshal’s office, Marblehead police Detective Sean Brady and Marblehead fire investigator Lt. Charles Cerrutti are investigating the fire together, Porter said.

Roger Baker of Rehab Five, a volunteer Essex County firefighter support organization, provided water for firefighters as they came out of the home, Porter said.

Baker was “a welcome sight” and much appreciated, Porter said.

Crews from Nahant and Peabody provided station coverage in Marblehead yesterday morning, while town crews were on McKinley Road. Capt. Elizabeth Wilson was commander of yesterday’s fire scene, Porter said.

The home and 0.23 acres at 15 McKinley were assessed by the town for $798,400 this year.

Bethany Bray can be reached at bbray@salemnews.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.