A fire in the basement of a three-story home at 167 Pleasant St. in Gardner grew into a 4-alarm blaze early this morning, forcing at least a dozen people to flee the multi-family building.
“As far as I know, everyone got out safely,” said Gardner Fire Lieutenant Charles Boris.
A fire department dispatcher said the residents got out of the buildings on their own and that the state fire marshal is currently on scene.
Fire marshal’s spokesman Jennifer Mieth said there are reports that the interconnected smoke alarms in the hallways functioned.
“The investigators are waiting for heavy equipment in order to remove the debris and begin their forensic scene exam,” she said in an e-mail.
The fire began around 4 a.m. and spread to the adjacent three-story home at 163 Pleasant. The first home is a nine-bedroom multi-family home valued at $218,000 by the Gardner assessor’s office. The second home is also a nine-bedroom multi-family home.
Boris said at mid-morning that the fire is currently under control, but one building was “a total loss.” He said he didn’t know the extent of damage to the other.
Boris said between 12 and 15 residents were displaced by the fire, and the Red Cross is helping meet their needs. He is not sure when they will be able to return home.