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July 10, 2014

Fire damages Salem home

SALEM — Flames tore through the roof of a Franklin Street home yesterday afternoon, but firefighters were able to save the house and a cat.

The fire broke out at approximately 2:30 p.m. at 9 Franklin St., forcing a resident to flee the home and bringing about two dozen firefighters from Salem, Derry and Windham.

Flames were shooting through the roof as firefighters responded to the fire, reported by a neighbor.

Firefighters, who battled the flames in 90-degree heat, were able to quickly bring the fire under control, according to Salem Fire Marshal Jeffrey Emanuelson. The cat, Isis, was carried to safety, he said.

The blaze was linked to an overheated ceiling fan, Emanuelson said. Although the flames were confined to the roof, there was still moderate smoke and water damage on the second floor, he said.

The residents, Gail Buscanera and Catherine Tatlis, will not be able to live in the home until the damage is repaired, Emanuelson said.

Buscanera, who has lived there since 1979, stood on a neighbor’s lawn across the street and watched as a firefighter cut through the roof to ventilate the smoke-filled home.

She said Tatlis was working in her home office and heard an unusual noise.

“She said she heard a crackling and didn’t realize it was on fire,” Buscanera said.

A neighbor called Tatlis to say the roof was fire.

Buscanera, who was in Newburyport and just left work, rushed home to find eight fire vehicles and crews of firefighters outside her home. Water trickled down the street.

She was relieved to learn her companion and cat escaped the fire.

“Nobody got hurt, that’s all I care about,” she said. “We are very fortunate.”

The American Red Cross is assisting the two women.

Police closed Franklin Street to traffic as firefighters fought the fire.

Firefighters from Pelham and Methuen provided station coverage for Salem, Emanuelson said.

Town tax records show the property is assessed at $225,700.

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