Lowell fire displaces five families

An early-morning fire in Lowell left 11 adults and two children homeless, according to the Red Cross. The one-alarm blaze at 342 Pawtucket St. started about 5 a.m. and caused about $30,000 in property damage, Deputy Fire Chief Robert Flynn said in a phone interview. Initial investigation shows the fire started on the second floor and may have been caused by an electrical problem, Flynn said. Two women and two men were taken to Lowell General Hospital, one for smoke inhalation and the others for preexisting medical conditions, said Flynn. The Red Cross said it is providing temporary shelter for the five families at a hotel. Flynn said residents might not return to the three-story building until various inspections, and perhaps renovations, are complete. Surrounding buildings were not damaged, he said.