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.
Fully involved house fire on University Ln. Family and pets safe. Please avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/0T3M1eZQmC— Chief Ed Conley (@ChiefEdConley) January 20, 2019
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.
"This is one of the highest elevations in Manchester, you guys saw how tough it is, trying to get a big truck up that hill." Manchester-by-the-Sea Fire officials say a steep driveway and icy conditions made it difficult for their crews to get to the scene of a house fire— Julie Leonardi (@JulieLeonardiTV) January 20, 2019
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."
Incredible video of a structure fire in #ManchesterByTheSea earlier this afternoon. @JulieLeonardiTV is headed to the scene and will have updates on-air and online! #Boston25 (📷: @ChiefEdConley) pic.twitter.com/EicnhxUwJo— Boston 25 News (@boston25) January 20, 2019
Thick, heavy smoke billowing from home on university lane.. home is directly up hill and road is extremely icy pic.twitter.com/u161Xofkin— Julie Leonardi (@JulieLeonardiTV) January 20, 2019
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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