Shortly after 9 on Thursday morning Swampscott firefighters along with Lynn firefighters responded to a reported house fire on Andrew Rd. which is only a couple of blocks from Swampscott fire headquarters. Firefighters were confronted with heavy fire conditions on floors 1 and 2. Attempts to establish a water supply were made difficult because the nearest hydrant was frozen due to the 9 degree temperatures at the time of the fire. Paradise Rd. had to be closed so Lynn Engine 5 could lay in from a hydrant a few hundred feet away. A second alarm was struck bringing in mutual aid to the fire and to cover. Swampscott firefighters along with mutual aid companies fought a long and hard interior battle, but eventually conditions deteriorated to the point where the evacuation tones were sounded and crews went into defensive operations. Due to overhead wires Swampscott Ladder 21 was unable to put it tower into operation, so Lynn Ladder 1 positioned into the driveway of a house on Paradise Rd. and set up its ladder pipe and put it into operation. Several big lines along with a blitz gun were also put into operation for a period of time until the heaviest fire was knocked down allowing companies to re-enter the building and dig out pockets of fire in the walls and ceilings. No residents were home at the time of the fire, several pet rabbits were rescued, but unfortunately a dog died as a result of the fire and a cat was missing at last report.
Swampscott Apparatus Response: Engine 21, Ladder 21, C1, Lynn Engine 5 (responds as 2nd due pump in Swampscott).