Apartment building fire deemed accidental

Photo courtesy Gary Huber Firefighters quickly knocked down a fire that broke out Tuesday afternoon on the second floor of a densely populated apartment building at 56 Springfield St. Thirty residents were displaced due to the blaze now determined to be an accident. 1/19/2021

LAWRENCE—- A fire in a congested Springfield Street apartment building earlier this week was sparked by an electrical issue, investigators concluded.

Some 30 tenants at 56 Springfield St. were displaced by the three-alarm blaze Tuesday afternoon. 

Acting fire Chief Robert Wilson said investigators determined the fire, which started on the second floor, was accidental. 

No injuries were reported but the Red Cross was called to the scene to help the displaced tenants. 

Heal Lawrence, a local nonprofit that assists fire victims, is also working with tenants, said Juan "Manny" Gonzalez, a Lawrence firefighter who co-founded the group.

Gonzalez said the fire victims are still being interviewed. However, food, clothing and housing are generally needed after most fires, he said.

Donations for the fire victims can be made at heallawrence.org. Checks can also be made out to GLCAC and sent to 305 Essex St., Lawrence, MA 01840, with a notation for Heal Lawrence.

Firefighters were met by heavy smoke and heat when they arrived Tuesday. Built around 1900, the apartment building has balloon construction, a style of building that leaves open spaces in the walls and allows fire to easily spread.

The building is assessed at $749,000 but was purchased in 2007 for $1.2 million, according to city records.

The vinyl-sided structure is owned by Springfield Union Realty Trust of 39 Inman St., Lawrence, according to records.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill. 

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