House destroyed by fire in Gloucester

washington street fire gloucester
The fire was fought from land and water (Gloucester Police Department photo via police Chief Ed Conley's Twitter account)

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One firefighter suffered injuries and two dogs are presumed dead after a house on Washington Street was destroyed by fire.

The incident at number 498 was called in at around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday by boaters on the Mill River, fire chief Eric Smith said.

One firefighter was taken to hospital suffering heat stress but was released later in the afternoon.

Smith said the house was a total loss.

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“The fire was well advanced by the time firefighters arrived on scene, and heavy smoke could be seen coming from the home upon arrival,” he said in a statement later in the day.

Firefighters were met by neighbors who said the family was not home. “An initial attack was made, but firefighters were driven back by intense heat,” Smith said.

“Companies then transitioned to an exterior attack on the fire. The Gloucester police safe boat and harbormaster boats were able to take fire officers on board and direct master streams on the home from the riverside, as access from the land side was limited,” he added.

The fire was knocked down by 11:30 a.m. but continued to flare up, because firefighters were not able to enter the building to extinguish and overhaul. 

Due to extensive damage, the home has been declared unsafe for entry by the fire commissioner.

The occupants of the home declined housing assistance, Smith said. 

“This fire was well advanced by the time firefighters arrived, and the terrain made the response more difficult, but all crews on scene did a tremendous job in containing and ultimately extinguishing the fire, along with the crucial assistance from the Gloucester police safe boat,” Smith said. “We also commend the boaters for calling in the fire when they witnessed it from the water.”

The Rockport Fire Department and the Essex Fire Department assisted on scene, and the Manchester Fire Department provided station coverage. Beauport EMS provided standby at the fire and coverage for the city.

The fire remains under investigation by the Gloucester Fire Department and State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The 2,087-square-foot colonial was built in 1900, according to city tax records. The property was bought a little over a year ago by Amanda Marino for $642,000, records said.

A photo by the fire department (embedded below) showed two sections of roof caved in after the fire was knocked down.

washington street fire gloucester
(Gloucester Police Department photo via police Chief Ed Conley’s Twitter account)
Gloucester Fire Department photo
Gloucester Fire Department photo
Gloucester Fire Department photo
Rehab Five photo
Rehab Five photo

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