EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 20, 2014

Early morning fire damages former Lawrence school

LAWRENCE — An early morning fire damaged some cabinets in the basement of the former Our Lady of Good Counsel School yesterday.

The Rev. Chris Casey, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, wrote in the statement that one or more people broke into the building by “breaking into a secured fire exit door.”

Acting fire Chief John Marsh said the blaze is under investigation. He described it as a “small fire” that his crews had “under control right away.”

Firefighters, brought to the scene by an alarm at the 526 Lowell St. building, contained the fire within minutes, according to Jim Massie, facilities manager for Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish.

No one was injured by the fire, which happened between 12:30 and 1 a.m., Massie said. The building has not been used as a parochial school since 2010, when Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Patrick schools merged to form Lawrence Catholic Academy.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, however, uses the building for religious education. It also hosts Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Mark Houle, director of religious education at the parish for kindergarten through eighth grade, said classes will continue.

“The classrooms were not affected,” he said.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish has two worship sites: St. Theresa Church at 22 Plymouth St. in Methuen and 128 Ames St. in the Tower Hill section of Lawrence.

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