Firefighters Save Haverhill Home as Two-Alarm Blaze Destroys Immediately Adjacent Garage

A two-story garage at 57 Woodrow Ave., was destroyed in the two-alarm blaze. (WHAV News photograph.)

Firefighters saved a North Parish neighborhood home Sunday after vapors from spilled fuel ignited in a closely adjacent garage and led to a two-alarm blaze.

Robert King, a resident of the single-family home at 57 Woodrow Ave., Haverhill, said he had been working on a boat in the large garage when fuel spilled. He said he believed most of the fuel had dried when he went to turn off electrical power. He added, there must have been a spark and vapors ignited. Haverhill Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien spoke from the scene.

“The fire appears to have started in this detached garage—large garage as you can see. There’s a report of a second boat inside—not sure where it actually originated, the fire, but it totally destroyed the existing building—the two-and-a-half story garage they had here. The heat was so hot—the radiant heat—actually burned out and blew out all of the windows on the actual residence,” he said.”

The fire chief detailed the great risk to the house.

“It had broken the windows. In addition to breaking the windows, it melted all of the vinyl, it melted all of the plastic around the air conditioners. Had we not got it when we did, it was actually getting into the main house at this point,” he said.

A firefighter was taken from the scene with neck and shoulder injuries after striking his head on a low section of the adjacent house. There were no other injuries and five dogs were safely taken away from the scene. Two boats, a recreational vehicle and other personal belongings were also destroyed.

O’Brien said storage buildings often bring additional risk.

“There is such a large fire load with a building like this because people, as we all know, keep all kinds of different things in garages. That contributes a lot to the fire load,” he explained.

The home is owned by Richard and Laura King.

Haverhill police closed a portion of Main Street, Route 125, for emergency vehicle access and Trinity EMS provided relief services.

Mutual aid from area communities was also dispatched to the scene, including help from Groveland, Merrimac, North Andover and Lawrence. West Newbury and Plaistow, N.H., provided station coverage.

Boats and a recreational vehicle were also lost during the two-alarm blaze. (WHAV News photograph.)

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