Somerville Firefighters responded to a fire at 657-659 Somerville Avenue on Saturday afternoon at 1230 on March 27th. Firefighters at the fire station at Somerville Avenue and Lowell Street were alerted to the fire by a passing bicyclist who banged on the fire station door.
Arriving firefighters discovered a fully engulfed fourth floor balcony which was rapidly spreading. The building contains 9 apartments and one office space. All building occupants were able to safely evacuate. The fire spread into the fourth floor apartment where it originated and started spreading under the roof. Fire and smoke damage was limited to the fourth floor, however, water damage resulted on all floors. One cat was found and rescued from the fire apartment suffering from smoke inhalation and a dog was removed from another apartment. In the course of rescuing the dog, one firefighter was bitten on the hand and was treated and released from the hospital. All occupants of the building are currently displaced until repairs are made. Damage is expected to be in excess of $200,000. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation but is believed to be accidental.
March has been an extremely busy month for the Fire Department. This latest fire on Somerville Avenue was the most serious of 11 building fires that the Somerville Fire Department has responded to this month. Several of them originated on porches or decks. Once again, residents are reminded to dispose of smoking materials in a metal container of sand and to NOT extinguish smoking materials in potted plants, combustible containers or throw them off the porch where they could ignite mulch or other combustibles.
Charles J. Breen Jr.
Somerville Fire Department