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December 14, 2013

Fire forces Methuen family from College Lane home

METHUEN — Last night’s 2-alarm fire at 15 College Lane in Methuen caused extensive damage to the rear of the single family Cape Cod-style home, as roaring flames lit up the sky.

But Methuen firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls from concerned neighbors made a quick knockdown of the blaze, which had broken out at about 5:15 p.m.

“There were very heavy flames when we arrived, but the crews did a fantastic job. I’m proud of them,” Deputy Chief William Barry said in an interview last night.

“The fire caused some heavy damage to the back of the house, basement and kitchen. But we cut it off on the first floor. We gained a quick entry into the basement and knocked it down. The majority of house is intact and saved,” he said.

Barry estimated the fire damage to the home and loss of possessions at $35,000 to $40,000. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly because they were already nearby on Pelham Street, returning from a false alarm when the call came in.

Barry also credited Methuen Police Officer Michael Blanchette with helping to rescue the family’s German Shepherd Milo.

“We had a crew getting ready to go into the house and get the dog. Before we knew it, Mike came out from the back of the house with the dog,” Barry said.

Capt. Tim Sheehy administered oxygen to the dog with an oxygen mask, he said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation last night.

Home owners Paul and Tanya Dube and their two young boys, one of them a baby, were able to get out of the house without being injured. They decided to stay with relatives last night instead of accepting emergency shelter, according to Ashley Studley of the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts.

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