HAVERHILL — Early Tuesday morning a two-alarm fire completely destroyed an unoccupied home at 3 Maplewood Terrace that was undergoing renovations, according to fire officials. No one was in the home at the time and there were no reports of firefighters being injured, they said.
The home is off Mill Street in the Plug Pond area of the city.
Fire Chief Robert O'Brien said a call came in around 4:25 a.m. and the first truck to respond was Engine 1 out of the High Street fire station, which happened to be clearing another call on Emerson Street.
"They headed right over and it was a quick response, but upon their arrival, they reported heavy fire," O'Brien said. "When they arrived the building was fully involved."
There were no problems accessing fire hydrants, the chief said.
He described the home as a 2 1/2 story wood frame building and noted there was a dumpster out front, indicating construction work was taking place on the building.
O'Brien said the fire was so intense that firefighters immediately went into a defensive operation as they could not enter the burning building.
"The building partially collapsed it was so fully involved," he said. "The goal was to protect neighboring homes, which weren't that close. During a fire like this, you get radiant heat that could damage a house. In this case, everything was fine."
Mutual aid was called in, O'Brien said.
The fire was brought under control in about an hour and a half and firefighters began clearing the scene at 7:30 a.m., O'Brien said
As of 9 a.m., Haverhill fire investigators with the assistance of the state fire marshal's office were on the scene to determine the cause of the blaze. A fire truck is there on standby, according to O'Brien.
"Considering what's left of the building, we have to do an emergency tear down as it's unstable," he said.
Fire inspectors were able to reach the homeowner, the chief said.
According to the City Assessor's office, the building is owned by Blue Moon Brothers Investments Inc. of Plaistow and is assessed at $448,000, including the roughly half-acre the building sits on.
This story is developing. Check eagletribune.com and tomorrow's paper for updates.