BEVERLY — Fire investigators reported the cause of a Tuesday evening fire that heavily damaged a 38 Walcott Road home was accidental in nature, and its direct cause was a worn electrical cord and extension.
The fire, which was reported at 7:20 p.m., was first spotted by a neighbor who saw smoke coming from second floor windows of the one-and-a-half-story, wood-frame house. He notified the fire department, then reportedly ran inside and attempted unsuccessfully to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher before being forced out by the heat and smoke.
When firefighters arrived moments later, smoke and flames were pouring from second-floor windows and from beneath the eaves, according to fire Deputy Bill Walsh.
Firefighters entered the front door and headed immediately upstairs, where they found fire engulfing the room to the right — believed to have been a home office — and began spraying water on the flames. By about 7:45 p.m., they had knocked down the flames and were going through the debris, looking for hot spots and live embers.
At about 8:30 p.m., firefighters cleared the scene, leaving behind only the fire investigation unit and a state fire marshal.
Although the fire was limited primarily to the second-floor room, the remainder of the structure sustained heavy heat, smoke and water damage, and will require extensive repairs before it can be occupied again.
The single male occupant, who was not identified in the report, was not at home when the fire started. He is believed to be staying with neighbors for the time being.
Although no formal estimate of damages was made by the Fire Department on Wednesday, Deputy Walsh said he thought it would take a minimum of $40,000 to $50,000 to restore the house.