Officials May Never Know Humphrey Fire's Cause
The mid-week fire at the building on the corner of Redington and Humphrey streets is still under investigation.
The cause of the fire that destroyed the gateway building on Humphrey Street is still undetermined.
“It may well remain undetermined,” said Swampscott Fire Chief Kevin Breen.
Breen joined other town officials Friday in front of the fire debris pile at the corner of Redington Street and Humphrey Street.
It's likely the fire started on the first floor in the J & I Custom Drapery and Upholstery business, the fire chief said.
Its cause may be difficult to determine, given that the remains of the building sit in a heap.
Pieces of charred wood, metal, stucco, furniture and personal belongings are in a pile that starts eight feet below on the basement floor.
The gutted building needed to be knocked down soon after the blaze ended because it posed a public safety threat, the fire chief said.
Hadley School stands right next to the property.
The town administrator, the fire chief, the police chief and the head of public works were among the group of officials at Humphrey and Redington.
A chain-link fence separates the sidewalk from the debris and a police officer remains posted at the scene.
Town Administrator Andrew Maylor did not know when the fire debris would be removed.
That decision will be made by the building owner and the owner’s insurance company, he said.
The owner, Jayne Orloff Carey, said in an interview later in the day that she expects the debris will be gone within a week.