Jul 29, 2014
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Fire Officials Still Investigating McKinley Road Fire

Marblehead firefighters, with an assist from surrounding communities, extinguished a 'dangerous and difficult' two-alarm fire on McKinley Road early Thursday morning.

Fire Officials Still Investigating McKinley Road Fire

Local fire officials are still investigating the cause of a particularly dangerous two-alarm fire that broke out in the basement of a McKinley Road home early Thursday morning.

At 8:25 a.m., a sanitation worker aboard a trash truck who was making his usual rounds through the neighborhood reportedly noticed that dark smoke was coming from the home's windows and called 911.

By the time members of the Marblehead Fire Department arrived on scene, the fire was already spreading to the rest of the house, fire Capt. Michael Porter said.

After putting out a call for mutual aid, firefighters from Swampscott, Salem and Lynn also arrived on scene, while firefighters from Nahant and Peabody covered the station, Porter said.

Thursday's fire was a "dangerous and difficult" fire to put down, Porter said, noting that heavy smoke made it extremely difficult for the first firefighters to enter the house to see and that thermal imaging equipment helped them avoid a huge hole that opened into the basement just 15 feet from the front door.

"That could have been disastrous," Porter said.

Another reason Thursday's fire was particularly hard to knock down was because the nearly three-story house had a wide open floor plan and high cathedral ceilings.

"They did a great job," Porter said. "Even under those difficult conditions, they were able to keep the fire from burning right up through the roof."

It took firefighters roughly two hours to completely extinguish the blaze, Porter said.

A member of the Swampscott Fire Department reportedly suffered minor injuries while fighting the fire, according to Swampscott Fire Chief Kevin Breen. 

The cause of the fire, Porter said, remains under investigation.

Marblehead Patch will be posting additional information as it becomes available.

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