EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 20, 2013

10 people lose everything in early morning fire

Firefighters discover pet cats alive and well


Lawrence Firefighter Jose Ortiz suffered a knee injury battling the blaze. Methuen fire Lt. Sandra Cunha was also injured. Both were taken to local hospitals for treatment, fire officials said. Details about Cunha’s injuries were unavailable.

Miraculously, firefighters yesterday found two cats alive and unharmed in the burnt-out shell of the Berkeley Street home.The cats, one black and one white, were discovered in a first floor bedroom. One was sitting on a shelf and another was on a bed, according to Deputy Chief Murphy.

Both cats were immediately reunited with their happy owners, he said.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts assisted the four adults and six children who were forced out by the fire.

“Volunteers were able to provide both families with emergency temporary shelter at a hotel and emergency funds for food, clothing and winter coats,” Red Cross spokeswoman Kat Powers said yesterday.

“We also handed out toys on scene, Mickey Mouses provided by our partner Disney, and socks. It’s cold, but a neighbor allowed volunteers to use their living room as a warming center to keep everyone while determining their needs,” Powers said.

In addition to Lawrence crews, firefighters from North Andover, Andover , Dracut, Methuen and Lowell battled the fire. Firefighters from North Reading, Haverhill, Tewksbury and Danvers covered the city during the blaze, Murphy said.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill. Mark E. Vogler also contributed to this story.




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