Amesbury Fire Department knocks down a two-alarm

Wednesday May 25, 2022

AMESBURY — Amesbury Fire Department responded to a two-alarm fire in a home on Elm Street last Thursday afternoon after receiving a 911 call at 31 Elm St.

Chief Kenneth Berkenbush was the first to arrive at the scene. He discovered smoke showing from the third floor of a three-story wood frame home, and a man on the second floor who believed another family member was still inside the home’s attic.

Firefighters immediately entered the building to search for residents, as another company of firefighters stretched a hose line into the building to support the search. 

Ultimately, it was determined the family member had already escaped on their own, and his father was able to escape on his own power as well. Search crews located a family dog on the second floor and were able to rescue it. Another pet, a cat, was lost in the fire. 

As a search of the building was conducted, other crews stretched hose lines and began battling the flames, knocking down the bulk of the fire by 1:53 p.m., and bringing the blaze under control at 2:06 p.m.

A firefighter suffered burns to his hands while conducting the building search. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment, and later released.

The third floor of the home suffered extensive fire damage, and the second floor suffered water and smoke damage. 

The home will be uninhabitable temporarily. The family of three who was living there has made private arrangements for shelter.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Amesbury Fire Department, with assistance from the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office.

Firefighters from Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, Salisbury, Merrimac, Haverhill, Hampton, N.H., South Hampton, N.H., and Exeter, N.H., provided mutual aid, as well as Atlantic Ambulance. 

“I’m thankful that the quick response of firefighters helped to ensure that no one was seriously injured, despite initial reports of someone possibly being trapped,” said Chief Berkenbush. “I also want to thank all of our mutual aid partners for their reliable and essential support.”

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