SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 13, 2012

Scooter is suspected origin of fire

SALEM — Fire officials say an early morning blaze at 270 Washington St. started “at or near” a motor scooter that was parked next to the building.

The two-alarm fire caused $60,000 in damage and displaced the building’s 10 residents. No injuries were reported.

“We believe the fire originated at or near the scooter, but we cannot pinpoint whether or not it was the scooter itself that started the fire,” firefighter John Roth said. “(The scooter) was definitely totaled and fully engulfed, and (the fire) extended into the building.”

A resident of the building spotted flames just before 2 a.m. and called 911. Fire spread into the building’s basement through a window and traveled to the upper floors through a plumbing encasement.

Firefighters were on the scene for roughly two hours, working to ensure the fire didn’t spread to neighboring buildings, including Major Magleashe’s Pub next door.

American Red Cross volunteers responded before daybreak, and the organization provided temporary hotel rooms for two residents of the building last night. The Red Cross also provided debit cards to cover emergency food for several other residents, said Kat Powers, Red Cross spokeswoman.

The Fire and Police departments are working together to investigate the fire and determine the cause, Roth said. Nothing — including arson — has been ruled out at this point, he said yesterday.

City building inspectors responded to the property yesterday and gave permission for residents to return, except the occupants of the first-floor unit on the right side, nearest to where the motor scooter was parked.

Yesterday afternoon, the charred remains of the scooter sat next to the building. Many of the windows were covered in plywood, and black scorch marks could be seen on the side of the building, up to the third floor.

City records show the building is owned by Patricia Egnet White of Haverhill; she could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson Today in History August 21 Holder Pledges Top Investigators for Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List
Comments Tracker