At least forty people have been left homeless just in time for the new year after a fire ripped through multiple Beverly homes at an apartment complex.
Firefighters responded to the housing complex at Trask Court shortly after 19:00 hours on Thursday after receiving a central station alarm, followed by numerous 911 calls for fire rapidly spreading from one unit into others. Flames reportedly broke out in one of the units and then quickly started spreading.
Beverly Fire Chief Peter O’Connor said that there were, “A lot of hidden spaces in the building… most important thing was to make sure everybody was out of the building, so we got into as many units as we possibly could.” It took them over 10 hours to finally knock down the blaze.
Chief O’Connor did confirm that one woman had to be rescued and was transported by ambulance to a local area hospital for smoke inhalation concerns. The Chief also confirmed that a cat and two dogs did die in the fire. The Red Cross, Salvation Army and City said it was helping the 40 people with food and a temporary place to stay.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Beverly Fire Capt. Jon Palm elaborated on the challenges of the knocking down the blaze saying, “Due to the construction of those types of apartments, there’s a lot of void spaces and pipe chases, so the fire seemed to get a little ahead of the crews on the scene.”
The building contains six units and is separated from neighboring 20 and 25 Trask Court by firewalls. According to Palm the firewalls did their jobs, “15 is a total loss, 20 suffered significant smoke and water damage, and 25 had slight smoke damage.”
Numerous outside departments responded to the blaze including Danvers, Hamilton, Manchester, Peabody, Wenham, Topsfield, Ipswich, Lynn and Middleton all providing mutual aid. Palm says the fire doesn’t seem suspicious, but further details and official ruling on the cause are pending an investigation aided by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.