, Salem, MA

November 1, 2013

Blaze puts six people out on the street


---- — PEABODY — Four adults and two children were taken to a hotel by American Red Cross volunteers following a fire Wednesday night that drew every Peabody fire company to McIntyre Court.

“The whole department was there,” said fire Lt. George Couris.

McIntyre Court runs off Wallis Street in the Tremont Street neighborhood.

Firefighters arrived to see heavy smoke coming from a building with three apartments. The inhabitants were already on the street when the trucks arrived. Couris credits working smoke detectors with getting everyone out.

Crews launched an “interior attack” on a fire centered mainly in the attic, Couris added. Firefighters moved about inside through heavy smoke and extreme heat. Because of the difficulty in maneuvering the ladder truck near the building, ground ladders were placed against the structure to allow them an emergency escape route. They weren’t needed, however.

The fire was out in less than an hour and a half, said Couris, who was on the scene.

“Engine 4 and 1 led the interior attack. They did a great job stopping it. It could have been a lot worse,” he said.

While he suspects there was roof damage, the building “was not a total loss.” In determining the cause of the fire, investigators will probably look into an exhaust fan in a second-floor bathroom.

The Red Cross provided food and clothing for the survivors, as well as hotel rooms.

Fire Department units from Lynn, Lynnfield and Salem covered the city while Peabody fought the blaze.

Alan Burke can be reached at