Three-alarm fire damages industrial building in Newburyport Saturday

Wednesday February 16, 2022

NEWBURYPORT– Newburyport Fire Department and its mutual aid partners responded to a three-alarm fire at an industrial building on Perkins Way last Saturday.

At 10:36 a.m., Newburyport Fire responded to Bradford & Bigelow, a printing business located at 3 Perkins Way, for a report of a fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from a 150 x 60 ft. array of solar panels on the roof area of the building. 

A second alarm was subsequently struck upon arrival and shortly after a third alarm was struck as well. 

Crews attacked the fire aggressively and were able to knock down the flames, limiting the fire damage to the roof and solar panels. The building did sustain some water damage however from firefighting efforts. Chief Christopher LeClaire estimates the overall damage to be approximately $2-4 million.

Firefighters were able to successfully extinguish the flames and had the fire under control by approximately 11:10 a.m.

Several dozen employees were inside the building at the time of the fire but were able to safely evacuate prior to firefighters’ arrival. There were no reported injuries.

Mutual aid at the scene was provided by the Newbury, West Newbury, Salisbury, Amesbury, Rowley, Merrimac, Seabrook N.H., Portsmouth N.H. and East Kingston N.H. fire departments. Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon, Newburyport Police and Atlantic Ambulance also responded to the scene to assist. 

Station coverage was provided by the Groveland, Merrimac and Exeter N.H. fire departments.

The cause remains under investigation by the Newburyport Fire Department and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The town’s building inspector was called to the scene to evaluate the damage.

“I would like to commend the professional and aggressive work done by our firefighters and mutual aid partners which prevented significant damage to the building,” Chief LeClaire said. “Thanks to their quick work, we were able to contain the fire and rapidly extinguish the flames.”

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