Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 21, 2012

More than a dozen homeless after apartment-building fire


Connors said the Monday morning that the building was uninhabitable.

Red Cross workers arrived on scene amid reports that people needed assistance. Only one of the units was vacant, according to Dep. Connors.

The Red Cross ended up assisting three families by putting them up in a local hotel. Red Cross also provided emergency funds for food to those residents, according to Kat Powers, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross.

She said most of the rest of the people in the building, who either own or lease the condos, are staying with family in the area.

Connors said while the fire was confined to the bedroom there was a lot of smoke and fire damage in the apartment where the fire started, as well as smoke damage throughout the building.

He said one woman was rescued from a third-floor balcony by a firefighter who brought her down to safety using a ground-ladder. Another resident of the complex was rescued from a second-floor apartment. He said heavy smoke filled the stairwells.

The one-alarm blaze was fought by nearly the entire Andover Fire Department. Mutual aid was needed to cover the central and outlying stations from the North Andover, Lawrence and Tewksbury fire departments.

"It was all-hands on deck," Connors said. "They confined the fire to the area of origin. It was a tremendous effort. They extinguished the fire and rescued residents of the building."

The fire was under control by 12:11 a.m., although firefighters remained on scene for most of the rest of the morning, until around 4 a.m.

Also responding to the fire were utility companies National Grid and Columbia Gas.

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