Early warning alarms and a favorable time of day allowed Revere firefighters to put a quick stop to a threatening blaze at the Shipwreck Lounge on the Boulevard Monday afternoon.
Fire Chief Gene Doherty said early warning alarms in the rooming house above the lounge sounded just after 11 a.m. and fire crews made their way to the Beach to check it out.
Shortly after that, DPW Workers Joe Lake and John Doherty called to tell crews that they saw smoke coming from the building. That upped the ante and crews sounded a second alarm within 10 minutes.
“The fire crews made a good stop,” said the chief. “If we were to get that same fire at 2 a.m., we’re in trouble with all the concealed spaces in there. The early alarms went off that was key…We chased the fire for a little while. It’s an old building with two or three ceilings. It was an electrical fire and was confined to the ceiling on the third floor. It did take out the roof though.”
Most of the $100,000 in damages came from water that was used to put out the complicated fire.
Doherty said the lounge was heavily damaged by water.
The building is owned by Louis ‘Blackie’ Padova, a popular figure on the Beach and the long-time owner of the lounge and rooming house.
There were 14 people displaced from the two buildings, but no injuries.
One passer-by, Doherty said, noticed the smoke and ran into the building prior to the arrival of firefighters. The anonymous man grabbed a fire extinguisher and burst into one of the burning units, spraying it with the extinguisher in an attempt to put out the fire.
All of the Revere apparatus were at the fire, with Deputy Chief Michael Viviano initially in charge. Units from Chelsea, Malden, and MassPort were also on scene helping to fight the fire.
Heat also played a factor in fighting the fire due to the hot summer temperatures. Firefighters took frequent water breaks and rotated in and out. Still, one Malden firefighter was taken to the Whidden Hospital suffering from heat exhaustion.