Elderly Man Dies in West Newbury House Fire

The cause of a two-alarm house fire in West Newbury Tuesday morning which led to the “unattended death” of an elderly resident and injured three firefighters is under investigation by local and state agencies.

The body of an elderly man was recovered from a two-story wood frame home destroyed in the fire, which was reported at 7:15 a.m., Tuesday, at 33 Meeting House Hill Road, West Newbury, according to West Newbury Fire Chief Michael Dwyer. First responders found heavy fire upon arrival and were unable to enter the home due to conditions, according to a statement. Firefighters had the heaviest flames controlled in about one hour, 40 minutes. While on scene, it was determined that a resident of the home was missing. The victim is believed to be the homeowner, but officials are awaiting a positive identification from the office of the chief medical examiner. His identity is being withheld pending notification.

“This was an extremely involved fire, and it took the combined efforts of several fire departments to bring the fire under control,” Dwyer said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family during this difficult time.” While battling the fire, three West Newbury firefighters were transported to Anna Jaques Hospital, Newburyport, with non-life threatening injuries.

Firefighters from Newbury, Newburyport, Amesbury, Groveland and Merrimac responded to the scene to assist. Newburyport, Amesbury and Merrimack units also covered the West Newbury station. The origin and cause of the fire are currently under investigation by the West Newbury Police and Fire Departments and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

“The Essex County District Attorney’s Office is also investigating, as the office has jurisdiction over unattended deaths in Essex County,” a spokesperson added.

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