• House destroyed after massive fire in Manchester-by-the-Sea

    Updated:

    Flames ripped through a home in Manchester-by-the-Sea on Sunday afternoon, fully consuming the property.

    The fire was first reported around 12:30 p.m. as a structure fire at a house on University Lane. 

    Fire Chief Ed Conley said the family and pets are safe, and is asking everyone to avoid the area.

    Fire crews said the homeowner was plowing his driveway when he noticed smoke coming from the garage. They said he made it out safely with his dog -- and fortunately, the rest of his family was not home at the time.

    Due to weather conditions, there were reports of firefighters having a tough time getting to the house, which sits on a hill. The steep drive was covered in ice by the time the crews were dispatched to University Lane.

    Once crews made it up the hill, the two-story home had already been engulfed in flames.

    "When we first pulled up on scene the garage was fully involved, every window had fire. Every gable end had fire, it had crossed into the breezeway and the smoke was coming out of the vents of the house," said Jim Doucette, of the Manchester-by-the-Sea Fire Department.

    Interim Fire Chief, Al Beardsley, said the primary struggle was getting up the hill. "Engine 1 trying to attempt to make it up one of the hilliest parts in Manchester, [got] stuck in the snow," he said. "Our squad 3 was able to get here first to get to the fire and get water on the fire."

    The windy conditions made battling smoke even tougher for the fire crews. 

    "The house is a total loss, there [was] a delay because of the road conditions, as you all know with snowy weather like this...it's been a pretty bad day for us," said Beardsley.

     

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