Haverhill Highlands Fire Tuesday Began in Basement, but Cause is ‘Officially Undetermined’

An early morning fire destroyed this home at 3 Maplewood Terrace, Haverhill. (MIke Jarvis photograph for WHAV News.)

The complete destruction of a Highlands home by fire Tuesday forces investigators to conclude the cause remains “officially undetermined.”

Haverhill Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien said, however, the two-alarm fire at 3 Maplewood Terrace began in the basement of the single-family home.

Fire was reported around 4:35 a.m. at the vacant home, which was undergoing renovations and, O’Brien said Tuesday, was “fully involved” when firefighters arrived. As such, he explained, firefighters pursued a “defensive operation from outside, containing the fire and protecting neighboring homes.” A major portion of the house collapsed, leaving only a wall and brick chimney standing. Because of the danger it posed, officials ordered the remains of the building demolished.

Investigation of the blaze was undertaken by Haverhill Fire and Police and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the state Fire Marshal’s office.

O’Brien said the fire was under control within an hour and a half. Mutual aid was provided by a number of communities, including Groveland and Salem, N.H.

According to city records, the house was built in 1900 and is owned by Blue Moon Brothers Investments of Plaistow, N.H.

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