Special to the Journal
Revere Fire Chief Christopher Bright and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said the cause of the May 20 fire at 141-143 Endicott Avenue, Revere, was the improper disposal of smoking materials.
RFD Investigator Capt. Mark Wolfgang and the Revere Police collaborated with the State Fire Marshalâ€™s Office in the investigation.
The five-alarm fire severely damaged the original six-unit building and the neighboring one-family home at 149 Endicott Avenue. Four additional homes suffered damaged in the dense neighborhood. The estimated loss is over $2 million. There were no injuries in the fire.
The fire started on the outside of 141-143 Endicott Avenue and there was evidence it was a frequent smoking area for residents.
Chief Bright said, â€œI am glad no residents or firefighters were hurt. But if this fire had happened in the middle of the night, the outcome might have been very different.â€ He added, â€œI am grateful to the many neighboring fire departments that provided mutual aid. This fire is a terrible tragedy for the 16 people who are displaced, but hard work kept the fire from destroying more homes in this densely packed neighborhood.â€
Revere Fireâ€™s Engine 1 and Ladder 1 were the first on the scene at the fire in the Beachmont neighborhood and found the rear of three-decker at 143 Endicott Ave. heavily involved with fire on all three floors of the rear porches and extending to two buildings on Bellingham Avenue.
Lt. Kevin Oâ€™Hara of Engine 1 transmitted the working fire signal and within 30 seconds he ordered the second alarm transmitted. Deputy Fire Chief Tom Tedesco arrived shortly after, and upon seeing the heavy fire conditions, ordered the third alarm to bring additional help to the scene of the now raging-inferno.
Chief Bright ordered the fourth alarm to bring in additional companies to tap hydrants several blocks away to get adequate water supplies to fight the fire that had spread to five buildings. A fifth alarm was transmitted shortly thereafter.
â€œIt was a tough fire,â€ said Chief Bright. â€œThatâ€™s a difficult area to get around but weâ€™re used to it. Itâ€™s a very tight street. We were fortunate it was daytime because most people were either not home or they certainly were awake and alerted to the fire. We had reports of some of the residents going to pull the fire alarm to alert the residents. Itâ€™s a tight-knit neighborhood, so that was not surprising.â€
Bright said the mild weather conditions helped in the containment of the blaze. â€œWe were lucky that it was a mild day. We didnâ€™t have any strong winds coming off the Atlantic Ocean. If we had and that fire had come in the middle of the night, it would have been a different fire. We could have had a conflagration up there. Weâ€™re very lucky that we eventually got ahead of fire and contained it and got an adequate supply of water and volume pressure to the scene.â€
Chief Bright said the department is working with MEMA and Mayor Brian Arrigoâ€™s Office to assist the fire victims.
(Information and press materials from the State Fire Marshalâ€™s Office, Boston Sparks A-10 President Paul Boudreau, who provided a narrative of the fire, and Revere Fire Department reports were used in the compilation of this story. A separate Revere Journal interview of Chief Christopher Bright was also conducted for this story).