Neighbors help put out house fire

Feb 18, 2021 by

Published February 18, 2021

By MAUREEN DOHERTY

NORTH READING — Quick action by neighbors and passersby quickly helped to extinguish a fire at the home of a long-time Elm Street man last Thursday morning, averting a possible tragedy.

Around 10:40 a.m., a 9-1-1 call was received at the fire station for 7 Elm St., the home of Lyman Fancy, 91.

According to Fire Chief Don Stats, these neighbors and passersby “noticed flames on the attached three-season porch. They notified 911, evacuated the homeowners, who were inside, and extinguished the bulk of the fire with portable extinguishers prior to our arrival.”

Stats said the fire appeared to have “started accidentally with some coals and embers from a recently emptied wood stove that were placed in the area of origin.”

The chief praised everyone who had come to the aid of the Fancy family.

“They truly did an outstanding job and prevented much greater damage and loss,” he said. “Due to their actions, the fire was confined to the area of origin.”

Within minutes of the call North Reading Engines 2 and 3, Ladder 1, Car 1 and Car 2 responded to the scene which is located by the Middleton town line. They were joined by North Reading Police Detective Marra and the assistant building inspector, Stats said.

The best news of all was there were no injuries and the family was not displaced. 

“Because the fire was limited, all occupants could remain at home,” the chief said.

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