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Merrimack Valley

July 8, 2013

Lawrence fire leaves 9 homeless

LAWRENCE — A two-alarm fire at 60 Washington St. late Saturday night left nine people homeless.

No injuries were reported, according to Deputy Chief Brian Murphy. The fire started under the roof of the two-story, two-family wood frame house, Murphy said. Firefighters pulled away the second-floor ceiling to get at the fire, he said.

The fire was contained to the area under the roof, Murphy said. Firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to release the hot gases, he said.

The first alarm was sounded at 11:57 p.m. Saturday and the second was rung at 12:11 a.m. Sunday. Every piece of firefighting equipment in the city was used to bring the blaze under control, Murphy said. Crews from Andover, Methuen and Lowell provided station coverage while Lawrence firefighters were on Washington Street.

Murphy estimated the damage at $35,000. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, he said.

The nine people left homeless stayed with friends and relatives, according to Kat Powers, director of communications for the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts. The Red Cross provided the fire victims with emergency money for food and clothing, Powers said.

The nine tenants lived in two apartments, Powers said.

Red Cross case workers will be checking on the victims today to make sure they have shelter, she added.

Powers noted that the services the Red Cross provides for victims of fires and other disasters, including emergency shelter, are paid for by those who donate to the organization.

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