A pair of two-alarm fires struck Somerville Wednesday, the latest in a series of early-morning house fires in the city, including three that have been identified as arson.
Three other blazes since June have been called suspicious by the state fire marshal’s office. Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for the fire marshal, said no information was available on what caused Wednesday’s fires. “Until there is a cause, it’s too early to even ask that question,” she said.
About 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, firefighters responded to a blaze at 85 Bromfield Road near the Tufts University campus and about 15 minutes later received reports of another house fire at 313 Summer St., about 1 mile away, said Fire Chief Kevin Kelleher.
It took firefighters about 30 minutes to put out both fires, Kelleher said. No occupants were hurt, but one firefighter suffered minor injuries, the chief said. Both two-family houses had significant smoke and water damage and were uninhabitable, he said.
Residents of each building had an early look at the fires and said they appeared to have started outside. The fire on Bromfield Road appeared to have started on a couch on the front porch, while investigators were looking at a car parked in the driveway on Summer Street as the source of the other fire.
Tom Boodry, 30, said he was awakened by the smell of smoke and initially thought there was a fire in the area, but not in the building where he lived on Bromfield Road.
When he looked out of his third-floor window, he could see the front porch of the two-family house on fire. He woke his roommate, Mike Luongo, and they quickly exited.
“I heard some crackling, but I just thought it was rain,” Luongo said. “Then I heard Tom yelling that something was on fire, and we got out of there.”
The fire lit up the couch and went up the front of the house to the third floor, Boodry said.
Boodry and Luongo were preparing to move out at the end of the month and had most of their things in boxes. The tenants in the other unit were not home, Boodry said.
One person was home at 313 Summer St. when the fire broke out, a 32-year-old man who lived on the third floor.
The man, who asked not to be named, said he saw his neighbor’s car in the driveway engulfed in flames, which spread to the side of the house.
The latest fires came after Mayor Joseph Curtatone and fire investigators announced Aug. 19 that of nine house fires this summer, three had been determined to be acts of arson, and three more were considered suspicious.
A reward of up to $15,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest in connection with the fires, and officials urged residents to be vigilant in taking fire safety precautions.
Officials have not specified which of the fires were arson.
The most significant fire considered either arson or suspicious broke out on Calvin Street July 25. The seven-alarm blaze spread to six houses and displaced 45 people.