LYNN - With the arms of a friend draped over her, Kathy Blake stood and cried today as she watched massive orange flames steadily devour her unit in a Green Street building.
“My bedroom. My son’s bedroom. And my daughter’s bedroom,’’ Blake said, as she pointed towards the six-family building, where orange flames billowed out of every window on the top floor of the building. “They’re just gone.’’
A moment later, Blake said her loss was greater than just the furniture in the bedrooms. “My father died a few years ago, and all of his pictures are in there,’’ Blake said. “All my dad’s stuff!’’
According to Lynn fire officials, the fire started inside a third-floor apartment, where residents first tried to douse it themselves using buckets of water before realizing that the fire was overwhelming their efforts.
They left the building and called 911, said Lynn Deputy Fire Chief Bill Murray. Murray said because three residents were in the apartment where the fire started, the cause did not immediately appear to be suspicious. He also said smoke alarms were sounding when firefighters arrived around 8:30 a.m., which allowed residents to safely evacuate.
Murray said arriving firefighters were met with a stunning scene.
“There was heavy, heavy fire showing out of five windows on arrival,” Murray said, adding that two alarms were struck before the fire was brought under control. “We could have lost the whole top floor of the building.”
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Lynn fire department and the state fire marshal’s office.
Murray said the fire caused heavy water damage, and the apartment where it started sustained extensive fire damage, but it is likely that the building can be repaired. He estimated that about eight residents, including two or three children, were displaced.
One of those residents received minor burns to her hand and was evaluated on scene before refusing transportation to the hospital. No one else was injured.
Alli Knothe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.