You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Fire in Haverhill displaces 4 families

HAVERHILL - A two-alarm fire destroyed a house at 63 Pecker St. Saturday, displacing four families, said Deputy Fire Chief Brian Moriarty.

He said a dog died in the fire but members of the four families escaped safely.

Continue reading below

Firefighters could see smoke billowing as they left the station on Water Street, less than a mile away, Moriarty said. When they arrived, heavy flames were rising from the basement in the back of the two-story house, he said.

Lyn Salter, who lived in a second-floor apartment with her two grandchildren, her daughter, and her daughter’s fiance, said she woke to the smell of smoke about 8:30 a.m. She threw a blanket over her two grandchildren to protect them from the smoke and her family rushed to the back door of their apartment. But flames shooting up near the door forced the family to turn to the front door to exit, she said.

“We just got out of there, not even realizing how bad it was,’’ Salter said. She said no fire alarms had sounded.

Salter’s daughter, Christine Turcotte, said the smell of smoke replaced the odor of gas that had been lingering for about a week.

“People here have been saying all week that there’s a gas smell in the hallway,’’ Turcotte said. She said residents had called the landlord, Krista Blum, to report the odor, but Blum did not respond. When reached by phone, she declined to talk.

Turcotte, Salter, and some neighbors stood on the sidewalk watching as firefighters hosed charred shingles from a ladder. The water ran in streams through shattered windows and pooled at the foot of a collapsed staircase on the first floor.

“We lost everything,’’ Turcotte said. “We’re just really lucky our family’s OK.’’

Red Cross will provide assistance to the families, Moriarty said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at
Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of