An early morning, two-alarm fire Tuesday resulted in the total loss of a single-family home on West Lowell Avenue in Haverhill, but there were no injuries reported and various livestock were rescued.
Haverhill Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien told WHAV firefighters were initially dispatched at around 2:30 a.m. after receiving a 911 call from the sole occupant of the 547 W. Lowell Ave. home about a shed fire. When the first two pumps arrived at the scene, he said, the house was already “fully involved.”
“It’s kind of an interesting piece of property the way it’s set up. It is not a true shed like you and I would think. It’s kind of an attachment to a porch, an outside porch, on an older house. When they arrived, the fire had really gained full control of the house. It burned from the outside in and got into the house very fast,” the chief said.
O’Brien said arriving firefighters found animals penned in front and to the left of the house. “There were sheep, a couple of goats. There was quite a bit of livestock there. The guys were working in and around that while fighting the fire.”
Haverhill Police Sgt. Bethany Boyle was also seen rounding up goats and geese at the property and called for assistance from Animal Control Officer Brad DiCenzo.
A second alarm was called for additional help at the scene and to backfill city fire stations. Assistance was provided by Lawrence, Methuen, Groveland and Salem, N.H. Lawrence and Methuen also checked a master alarm at the nearby Phoenician Restaurant, Alpha Street, whose detectors may have sensed smoke from the house fire.
City records show the property, built around 1900, is owned by William Knowlton.
O’Brien said there were many factors at the site, including electrical, which may lead investigators to call the specific cause “undetermined.”