SWAMPSCOTT — Investigators have determined that a fire that destroyed a house in Swampscott Thursday morning began on the stove and was accidental.
In a written statement, State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Swampscott Fire Chief Kevin F. Breen said that while the investigative team identified where the blaze started, it could not be determined whether one of the occupants accidentally left the stove on or the family’s dog turned it on while “counter surfing” as this dog was known to do, the statement said. The dog died in the fire.
When firefighters first entered the building, they quickly realized they had attached a hose to a frozen hydrant, said Swampscott Fire Captain Kevin Thompson. That prompted them to evacuate the building and required the crews to run four other water lines to hydrants as far as 175 yards away from the home.
Thompson said the first and second floor of the wooden, Colonial-style house at 50 Andrew Road was engulfed when firefighters arrived. No one in the six-member family, which has not been identified, was at home as the fire began.
Thompson said the three-alarm fire brought more than 55 firefighters from Beverly, Lynn, Marblehead, Nahant, Revere, and Salem and took more than an hour to extinguish.
Damages are estimated at $250,000 to $300,000. Thompson said two Swampscott firefighters were treated at Salem Hospital and released. One suffered a laceration, the other a shoulder injury.
Thompson said two rabbits that were living in a hutch outside the house were rescued.
Ashley Studley, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross volunteers, said the family declined assistance and had a place to stay Thursday night.