HAVERHILL — Hours after a fire broke out inside a townhouse at The Village at Brickett Hill off North Avenue, residents watched as fire investigators entered and exited the building over and over and could only guess as to what had happened. Even a neighbor who dialed 911 after a teenage boy came to her door to say his home was filled with smoke, said she had no idea if anyone had been hurt.
Authorities last night said the fire resulted in the death of a woman, but that no additional information would be released until there was a positive ID made and next of kin were notified.
Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, said the fire is being jointly investigated by Haverhill Fire and Police and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. Mieth said questions about the identity of the victim should go to the Essex District Attorney’s Office once the Medical Examiner’s Office has made the official identification and next of kin have been notified.
Just before 11:30 a.m. yesterday, 83-year-old Eleanor DeManche was getting ready to head to her office job when her front doorbell rang. She said the teenage boy who lives in the adjoining townhouse at 41 Brickett Hill Circle said his home was filled with smoke and to call 911. She said the boy told her he was sleeping in the basement and that his mother had taken his sister to school earlier in the morning and he didn’t know if his mother was home or not.
“He had no shoes on his feet and had walked across the snow to ask for help,” DeManche said.
DeManche, who lives at 42 Brickett Hill Circle, said she called 911 then went next door with the boy to see what was going on. Police said they received her 911 call at 11:28 a.m.