Chief: Electrical Wiring Likely Cause of Bradford House Fire

Haverhill Interim Fire Chief John Parow.

Haverhill fire investigators said a blaze that displaced 12 residents at a Bradford four-family dwelling Tuesday afternoon is “not suspicious.”

An ongoing investigation into the blaze at 55-57 South Central Street targets electrical wiring in a “void space” between a second-floor ceiling and attic, according to Haverhill Interim Fire Chief John Parow.

“There’s really nothing in that space other than electrical wire. We believed it was knob and tubing wire in that space that could have led to the fire. Not that we can specifically say that’s what caused it but that was really the only mechanism that was in that area,” Parow told WHAV.

No injuries were reported. Parow said mutual aid was provided by several area departments, including a crew from Lawrence which found a nearby hydrant on South Main Street, intended as a backup, was not working.

Fire Hydrants Prove Troublesome

“The fire hydrant we grabbed out in front of the house worked fine. But then we went to a defensive mode, we decided to grab an additional hydrant and we went all the way back to South Main Street where we had a larger main. And that was the hydrant we actually we ran into difficulty with, we could not get it to work. It didn’t really affect the outcome of the fire, we never even grabbed another hydrant after that,” Parow said.

Parow also told WHAV a dog was rescued from a first-floor unit after its owner arrived on the scene.

Firefighters Bring Dog to Safety

“He was screaming that his dog was in the house. So we broke into the apartment on the first floor and there was the dog, sitting on the couch all snuggled up in a blanket. He wasn’t going anywhere, we had to physically go in and pull him out to bring him to the owner,” Parow added.

Parow believes the dwelling was a total loss. In addition to Lawrence fire crews, mutual aid coverage was also provided by crews from Methuen, Merrimac, Groveland and Salem, N.H. The state fire marshal’s office is also assisting with the fire investigation.