EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 2, 2013

Candle fire sends three to hospital

By Bill Kirk

---- — LAWRENCE — Three people, including two infants, were treated for smoke inhalation caused by a fire ignited by a candle burning papers in an apartment building on Lowell Street yesterday at 9:17 a.m..

Edward Abiu, who owns the six-unit complex at 391-393 Lowell St., said he had lit a candle on his kitchen table in his first-floor apartment and went next door to the store he runs — Edward Convenience — when the fire broke out.

“I put the candle on the table and it melted down,” he said. “It was a little fire. It was no big deal.”

Unfortunately, smoke from the single-alarm fire went up a back staircase and entered an apartment on the second floor and another on the third floor.

A woman in her 40s, living on the second floor, and twin, 1-year-old girls living in an apartment on the third floor, were all taken to Lawrence General Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, said Lawrence Fire Dep. John McInnis. Their names or conditions were unavailable.

“Three people complained of breathing problems,” he said.

“They were all outside on the sidewalk when we got here,” he said. “The smoke went up a back stairway.”

He said it was a “minor fire on the kitchen table that extended to the contents of the kitchen. It was contained to the kitchen area.”

The fire was quickly doused; firefighters had already cleared the scene before 10 a.m.

The building also houses Edward Convenience Store, owned by Abiu.