UPDATED: Swampscott Firefighters Help Battle Marblehead Fire

Marblehead firefighters, with assistance from Swampscott and other departments, extinguished a 'dangerous and difficult' two-alarm fire on McKinley Road early Thursday morning.

Local fire officials are still investigating the cause of a particularly dangerous two-alarm fire that broke out in the basement of a McKinley Road home early Thursday morning.

A member of the Swampscott Fire Department suffered minor injuries while fighting the fire, according to Swampscott Fire Chief Kevin Breen.

The injured firefighter was Lt. Robert Surette. He injured his arm while checking checking second-floor walls for extension of fire.

Swampscott firefighters were part of this overhaul operation, and also cut holes in the roof for ventilation, said Chief Breen.

At 8:25 a.m., a sanitation worker aboard a trash truck who was making his usual rounds through the neighborhood reportedly noticed that dark smoke was coming from the home's windows and called 911.

By the time members of the Marblehead Fire Department arrived on scene, the fire was spreading to the rest of the house, fire Capt. Michael Porter said.

After putting out a call for mutual aid, firefighters from Swampscott, Salem and Lynn also arrived on scene, while firefighters from Nahant and Peabody covered the station, Porter said.

Thursday's fire was a "dangerous and difficult" fire to put down, Porter said, noting that heavy smoke made it extremely difficult for the first firefighters to enter the house to see and that thermal imaging equipment helped them avoid a huge hole that opened into the basement just 15 feet from the front door.

"That could have been disastrous," Porter said.

Another reason Thursday's fire was particularly hard to knock down was because the nearly three-story house had a wide open floor plan and high cathedral ceilings.

"They did a great job," Porter said. "Even under those difficult conditions, they were able to keep the fire from burning right up through the roof."

It took firefighters roughly two hours to completely extinguish the blaze, Porter said.

The cause of the fire, he said, remains under investigation.

Marblehead Patch will be posting additional information as it becomes available.


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