METHUEN — A late-night fire at 42 Harris St. has left a local family of seven temporarily homeless.
The fire began just before midnight Friday in the back of the one-story home and spread quickly, according to Methuen fire Deputy Chief Dennis Fragala.
"There was heavy fire on the exterior and back of the building, down the back deck and siding," he said. "They had to vent the roof because of the extent of the fire. The fire was quickly extinguished after the ventilation of the roof."
Homeowners Chad Smith and Nicole Ranno escaped the home before firetrucks arrived with three of their five children, including infant twins. The other two children were not at home at the time.
"There were no injuries, but the family was displaced by the fire," Fragala said. "They're with the Red Cross."
The fire was under control by 1:30 a.m..
"We don't know the cause of the fire yet," Fragala said yesterday afternoon. "It's still under investigation."
Lt. Jeff Sirois responded to the scene Friday night and said the house was badly structurally damaged.
"The kitchen, back deck, two bedrooms and pretty much the entire house were damaged," he said. "But the back of the house was the worst. I would say at least $150,000 worth of damage, possibly more."
Neighbor Shelly Fabrizio, 49, was home Friday night and went down the street when she saw firetrucks drive by.
"I saw orange flames from (down the street)," she said. "I don't know what would make the flames go that high. It was scary. The family just put an addition on the back because they have so many kids. The addition is what burned."
She said she was thankful the family escaped the fire safely.
"I saw the dad carrying the twin babies out of the house," she said. "It's horrible. There's nothing you can do to help."
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