Firefighters battle fires in Lawrence, Norton amid strong wind gusts

Firefighters had a tough day Wednesday when fires popped up across eastern Mass., where gusty winds made it harder to put out the flames.

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Firefighters battled multi-alarm fires in Lawrence and Norton amid wind gusts greater than 20 mph on Wednesday afternoon.

Sky25 flew over the two-alarm fire in Lawrence around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. The fire occurred at a multi-family at 11 Lowell St.

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Meanwhile, over in Norton, Sky25 captured firefighters from several area communities battling a 5-alarm fire at a mill building on Barrows Street. Seven people were displaced following the Lawrence fire. The American Red Cross responded to assist the displaced residents.

That fire began at 5 p.m. and continued to rage for a couple of hours before firefighters could get a handle on it.

Heavy smoke could be seen billowing from the mill, as flames climbed through second-floor windows of the building, which suffered extensive damage in the fire.

Police closed off the road near the building as crews responded.

It was a large building – one report has it at about 100,000 square feet. Not much was inside the building so what burned was the floors and any structure that was flammable.

Firefighters had a tough time getting water to fight the fire. Hydrants out back were disconnected a long time ago, according to Norton’s Fire Chief Shawn Simmons.

So hoses had to be dragged from hydrants on the street out front.

Chief Simmons said it was a difficult fire to fight.

“The challenge is accessing the fire itself. What’s burning is the floor and structure material. There’s not a lot of material in the building right now,” Simmons said.

Firefighters remained on scene knocking down hot spots and mopping up.The causes of both fires were not immediately known.

Wind gusts greater than 20- or 25 mph can be a problem for firefighters who are trying to contain the fires, said Boston 25 Chief Meteorologist Kevin Lemanowicz.

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