Four-Alarm Somerville (MA) Fire Displaces Four, Collapses Home

Julia Taliesin

Wicked Local Northwest, Concord, Mass.


Apr. 5—Around 12:19 p.m. on April 3, the Somerville Fire Department was notified of what would become a four alarm fire on Morrison Avenue.

According to Fire Chief Charles Breen, arriving fire companies were faced with extreme fire conditions. At 195 Morrison Ave., a vacant, two and a half story home in the midst of extensive renovations was engulfed in fire, which had already ignited the homes on either side, at 191 and 201 Morrison Ave. Damage is estimated to be two million dollars.

Four alarms brought mutual aid from Cambridge, Boston, Belmont, Chelsea, Medford, Malden and Arlington.

In the end, 195 Morrison Ave. was destroyed and collapsed, while the two neighboring homes sustained significant damage. Those homes are currently uninhabitable, and four residents were displaced. Breen said the Red Cross and Somerville Health & Human Services were on scene assisting the displaced residents.

The fire impacted a number of surrounding homes. Breen said a house in the rear at 197 Morrison Ave. received heat damage as well as the house across the street at 194 Morrison Ave. Embers from the fire also resulted in a porch fire at 169 Morrison Ave. as well as a mulch fire at 177 Morrison Ave. Four vehicles were damaged by heat and a construction trailer was destroyed.

“Heat from the fire melted some of the warning lights on the first arriving fire apparatus,” he said. “Several live electrical lines burned and fell to the ground causing added difficulty and an additional hazard to firefighters operating at the scene.”

Construction workers were on the site at the time of the fire, and Breen reported that the cause of the fire is currently under investigation but is not considered suspicious.

“The lack of finished interior walls and ceilings in the home under renovation as well as missing windows allowed rapid fire spread throughout the structure,” he said.

Breen reported that one firefighter was treated at the hospital for a burn and several other firefighters suffered minor injuries but were able to remain on duty.


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