For Immediate Release:
Chief Jenifer Collins-Brown reports that a house on Kinsman Lane was damaged overnight after catching fire. At approximately 01:40 in the morning, the Essex County Regional Communications Center received a 911 call from an individual reporting she could see flames, while she was on the phone, her son Will, who alerted her to the flames, ran next door to wake the neighbors up, alerting them of their house on fire. Fire units were dispatched shortly after the initial 911 call was initiated at 01:42. The occupants of the house were asleep on the first floor and exited the structure as Topsfield Police Officers Sgt. Bonfanti and Patrolman DeBernardo arrived reporting smoke showing from the house and the homeowner attempting to douse the flames with a garden hose. at 01:46, Chief Collins-Brown arrived and reported an outside fire extended into the garage an that the heavy flames appeared to be knocked down but the fire was now into the interior the walls. Engine 3 arrived at 01:50 with 4 members and Truck 1 after that at 01:53 with only two additional members. Mutual aid coverage was requested by the chief bringing a Middleton Ladder company and engines from Boxford and Wenham to the station. TFD crews worked on scene for an hour and a half overhauling the area affected by the fire and extinguishing smoldering fire in the interior of the wall as well as salvaging property and ventilating the building, clearing it of smoke and toxic gasses such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide from the residence. Roger Baker from Rehab 5 responded to the scene, with only 7 firefighters on scene for a building fire, overexertion and heat exhaustion can set in quickly, having a service like Rehab 5 is integral to keeping firefighters hydrated and cool while working. Chief Collins-Brown noted “I’m very grateful no citizens or Topsfield public safety workers were injured as a result of this incident. The absence of a staffed fire station at night time puts us even further behind the ball in the event of a fire. If Will had not been awake and seen the fire when he did, there is a very real possibility this incident could have taken a devastating turn.” There were no injuries reported and nobody was displaced from the home, which suffered an estimated $25,000.00 of damages, The cause was determined to be a smoldering fire that went undetected from the use of a propane fired torch earlier in the day.