Winds Impede Arlington St. Firefighting Efforts; No Injuries

Haverhill firefighters were forced to work outside the 20 Arlington St. condominium building after strong winds hampered efforts to safely extinguish the fire. (WHAV News photographs by Cindy Driver.)

There were no reported injuries, but a more than century-old, four-family, building on Arlington Street was destroyed by fire Saturday morning.

The cause of the two-alarm blaze at 20 Arlington St. is considered accidental, but a definitive reason is expected to be released by the state Fire Marshal’s office following an investigation. Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey’s office was called by the Haverhill Fire Department a little more than an hour after fire was reported after 9 a.m.

Firefighters on scene reported windy weather conditions hampering efforts to distinguish the fire, forcing Fire Chief William F. Laliberty to call for a “defensive mode” around 10:30 a.m., ordering all firefighters out of the building.

According to city records, the building was constructed in 1900 and converted to garden-style condominiums, currently valued between $73,000 and $111,000 each. Several fires over the last 30 years have greatly reduced the number of one-time Victorian-era mansions on the street.

At least one unit was owner-occupied. An online fundraiser for tenant Brian Spencer, who reportedly lost all belongings, had already raised more than $4,000 as of Sunday night.

(WHAV News photograph by Cindy Driver.)

(WHAV News photograph by Cindy Driver.)