EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 8, 2014

Morning Lawrence fire rekindles in afternoon; 15 left homeless

LAWRENCE — A fire that displaced 15 people early Monday morning rekindled in the afternoon, calling firefighters back to a triple-decker at 13 Wells St.

High winds Monday afternoon combined with old insulation reignited the fire on the third floor of the home shortly after 1 p.m., said Lawrence Fire Chief John Marsh.

“It was windy this afternoon, and with the windows open from the fire some old insulation began to smolder,” Marsh said.

A resident of 13 Wells St. ran to a fire alarm street box at 3 a.m. to report the fire, said Lawrence Deputy Fire Chief John McInnis.

Firefighters arrived to find flames shooting from all three floors of the triple-decker, he said.

“There was heavy fire coming from the first, second and third floors,” McInnis said.

One resident suffered a minor injury and was taken to the hospital for treatment. McInnis said the building was likely a total loss with damage estimated at $300,000.

People in the area Monday afternoon noticed smoke coming from the third floor of the home, Marsh said.

“It wasn’t a full-blown fire, but a couple of people in the area saw smoke coming from the third floor,” he said.

Crews were leaving the scene at around 4 p.m. on Monday, according to Marsh.

The cause of the initial fire remains under investigation, McInnis said.

Firefighters from Lowell, Methuen, Andover, North Andover and Salem, N.H., were called to the fire scene this morning to help Lawrence crews. Firefighters from Dracut and Tewksbury covered city stations while Lawrence firefighters were tied up, McInnis said.

Wells Street runs south from Park Street to the Spicket River in North Lawrence.

The 3-alarm blaze on Wells Street followed an electrical fire at 376 Osgood St. early Monday morning.

McInnis said a fire at that residential building started in an electrical meter. Numerous residents there were also displaced by the fire but had friends and relatives they could stay with, McInnis said.

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