A three-alarm fire on Winthrop Avenue Friday afternoon kept firefighters busy for hours, but caused no extensive damages and resulted in no major injuries.
That said, the bright orange flames towering from the roof of the home at 926 Winthrop Ave. – just diagonally across from the old Beachmont Fire Station – would have seemingly led one to believe otherwise. Still photos and helicopter video from the Boston news stations showed a blazing inferno and what looked to be a very out-of-control situation.
However, Fire Chief Gene Doherty said a quick initial response and an aggressive attack on the fire limited its overall damages.
“We got there in about two minutes from the first call and a couple of guys from Engine 1 on the Parkway got right inside really quick and that made all the difference,” said the chief. “When they got in, they could hear the cracking in the walls and realized it was going good. They called in a working fire, and Deputy Chief Giampietro struck a second alarm about five minutes later. Then, a few minutes later, I struck the third alarm because it was really going good.”
Total damages were set at $150,000 and it was determined by fire officials that the blaze was accidental. It apparently started via an electrical problem in the first floor bathroom.
“It worked its way into the wall and up into the walls and then out the roof,” said the chief. “That’s why you saw so much fire coming out of the roof. Oddly enough, we only received one call from someone on Bradstreet Avenue who thought the saw smoke.”
The first floor was occupied by the LaPorta Family, but the second floor and attic were vacant.
Firefighters saved one dog and two cats.
Two firefighters – one from Revere and one from Malden – suffered minor injuries.
The call came in at 12:12 p.m., and crews had knocked down the fire by 3:30 p.m. – with never any real threat of it spreading to other homes. Other departments on the scene included Chelsea, Winthrop, Malden, Everett, Melrose, and MassPort. Covering the stations were Boston, Lynn and Swampscott.