More families displaced by four-alarm fire in Concord, no injuries

  • A four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack Street in Concord in the early morning of Wednesday, April 28, 2021, displaced numerous residents. —Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • TOP and ABOVE: A four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack St., in Concord, early morning on Wednesday displaced residents. Photos courtesy of Jay Heath

  • A four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack Street in Concord in the early morning of Wednesday, April 28, 2021, displaced numerous residents. —Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • Firefighters on Tower One work to extinguish the fire at 32 Merrimack St., Concord, from above. Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • A four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack Street in Concord in the early morning of Wednesday, April 28, 2021, displaced numerous residents. —Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • Fire crews from 18 communities responded to a blaze at a house converted into four condominium units. Courtesy of Bill Graham

  • Two firefighters on Tower One work to extinguish a four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack St., in Concord on Wednesday morning. Courtesy of Bill Graham

  • A four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack Street in Concord in the early morning of Wednesday, April 28, 2021, displaced numerous residents. —Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • A four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack Street in Concord in the early morning of Wednesday, April 28, 2021, displaced numerous residents. —Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • A four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack St., in Concord in the early morning hours on Wednesday displaced numerous residents. Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • A four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack Street in Concord in the early morning of Wednesday, April 28, 2021, displaced numerous residents. —Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • A four-alarm fire at 32 Merrimack Street in Concord in the early morning of Wednesday, April 28, 2021, displaced numerous residents. —Courtesy of Jay Heath

Monitor staff
Published: 4/28/2021 10:37:01 AM

A historic home built in 1880 that was later split into four condominiums was engulfed in flames early Wednesday morning, the second major fire in Concord this week.

Firefighters were dispatched at 12:31 a.m., and arrived at 32 Merrimack St., to find the fire spreading rapidly extending from a second floor deck to the third floor and the attic, fire officials said.

Firefighters determined that the five occupants of the building were able to self-evacuate. A cat was also rescued by a firefighter. There were no resident or firefighter injuries.

Firefighters tried to douse the four-alarm fire from the interior and exterior of the building, but due to the size and age of the building, the process was challenging.

“The age of the building and the style of construction at that time period creates a lot of void spaces,” Fire Chief Sean Brown said. “So the fire can travel all throughout the building and it makes it really difficult to get at the fire.”

Additionally, he said, building’s of that time period were built “very rugged,” with thicker hardwood, making it difficult to get behind walls and under floors to attack the fire.

Firefighters were called in from 18 surrounding communities to help extinguish the blaze and cover empty fire stations. Crews of firefighters fought the fire in rotations throughout the night to keep people fresh, Brown said. They utilized ladders to spray water onto the roof, because the fire was strong in the attic space. The fire was eventually contained at 4:08 a.m.

Brown noted that this was the second large fire in the city this week. In addition crews have been called to several outdoor fires throughout the city. 

“It’s been unusually busy,” he said.

Throughout the pandemic, the city has seen a significant increase in the amount of fires, Brown said.

“A lot of those have been related to people being at home,” he said. Calls have included cooking-related fires, outdoor fires as people try to get outside, and permitted fires getting out of control.

Given how busy firefighters have been during the pandemic, Brown said that this week’s spate of calls have been “out of the ordinary.”

“We generally don’t have this many major fires so close to each other,” he said.

The causes of the Merrimack Street fire and a fire at the Pinewood Village apartment complex that displaced dozens of residents are both under investigation.

“There is no indication that this is related to any other fires in the city,” Brown said.




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