22 families left homeless after apartment fire in Methuen

METHUEN, MASS. (WHDH) - A large fire at a Methuen apartment building has left 22 families homeless right before the holidays.

Firefighters said the fire sparked on the second floor and quickly spread to the third floor and tore through the roof of the building at 11 Ashton Place late Thursday night. The Methuen fire chief said an overloaded extension cord may have caused the fire.

Fire Lt. Thomas Curtis issued a mayday call after falling from the third to second floor of the building. Officials said the 25-year veteran was briefly trapped in a closet but made it out safely. The fire chief said another firefighter was injured after slipping on ice at the scene. He is also expected to be OK. A few residents were taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and have since been released.

Neighbors said they offered displaced families into their homes and gave them coats to keep warm as crews battled the flames.

“We’re not going to say we didn’t lose anything but everything we lost is material stuff,” said Yashua Duarte. “That’s something we can always buy back.”

Community members and the firefighters’ union have donated money, food and clothing, along with Christmas presents for the five children who were displaced.