Thursday, 4:30 PM
Firefighters knock down towering blaze in Georgetown condominium complex
(Jim Wilson/Globe staff)
Firefighters battled flames today at condominium complex in Georgetown.
By Kathy McCabe, Globe Staff
GEORGETOWN -- A five-alarm fire destroyed a three-story apartment building in a condominium complex near Interstate 95 this morning, leaving at least two dozen people homeless. There were no reported deaths or injuries.
Flames shot 20 to 30 feet into the air, witnesses said, as the roof collapsed in the building, which is one of seven in the Longview at Georgetown, a luxury apartment complex that was built two years ago.
"We now have it just about under control," Georgetown Police Chief James Mulligan said at 12:30 p.m., three hours after the blaze was first reported by a construction worker.
The fire completely destroyed at least one building that contained 24 apartments, Mulligan said. It was not immediately clear how many people lived there.
Rescuers saved four dogs -- including a Husky that had been soaked by firefighters' hoses -- and two cats, according to Georgetown Animal Control Officer Helen Phillips. No pets were lost in the blaze, Phillips said.
It took 100 to 200 firefighters from surrounding communities to help Georgetown officials battle the blaze. The building was up to fire code and had sprinklers inside, Mulligan said. Shortly after noon, firefighters were ordered out of the building for safety reasons.
A representative from the Dolben Co. of Burlington, which manages the property, declined comment at the scene.
"It's all burned down there's nothing left but sticks," said Donna Lay, 46, a resident who moved in on Dec. 1 but was working at a hair dresser in Amesbury when the flames erupted.
Lay's 13-year-old son was home sick from school and called his mother to say their apartment building was on fire. He escaped the flames with their dog, but their cat, Toby, was trapped inside the building, Lay said.
Another resident, Mike Adams, 23, returned home from a trip to the grocery store to see white smoke billowing from the building’s roof. Adams said he immediately called his brother who was asleep inside.
His brother ran out of the building and then "the whole third floor went up in flames," Adams said.
The Merrimack Valley chapter of the America Red Cross was setting up an emergency shelter at Georgetown High School to assist displaced residents. Yvonne Zinicola, the Executive Director of the Red Cross chapter, said 10 volunteers were preparing to help people living in the 24 apartments.