SALISBURY, MASS. (WHDH) - Officials launched an investigation after several buildings in Salisbury were destroyed by a nine-alarm fire as whipping wind gusts battered the seaside town early Monday morning.
Firefighters responding to a reported fire in the area of Central Avenue and North End Boulevard around 2 a.m. found heavy flames tearing through Michael’s Oceanfront Motel. The blaze also spread to four residential buildings.
All of the structures were reduced to a charred pile of rubble and deemed a total loss. Multiple homes in the area were also damaged.
Video from the scene showed the structures collapsing to the ground as more than 100 firefighters from several area communities doused the fire with water.
“Our top priority throughout the night was to protect the surrounding community from a large and growing fire that was being pushed toward other structures by high wind conditions,” Salisbury Fire Chief Scott Carrigan said. “I want to recognize the Salisbury firefighters who fought relentlessly against the threat that this fire posed to lives and property under extremely challenging weather conditions, as well as the many fire departments who provided mutual aid.”
There were no reported injuries but Salisbury Fire Captain Andrew Murphy described the blaze as one of the worst he has ever seen.
“Firefighters made several rescues to get people out of their residences who were not aware that the fire was going on,” Murphy said.
The American Red Cross and Salvation Army are assisting the more than two dozen people who were displaced by the blaze.
A temporary shelter was also set up at the Hilton Center on Lafayette Road because crews had to shut off power and utilities on Central Avenue.
“It was very scary. I’m just glad to be alive,” a displaced resident said. “That was one of the scariest moments of my life.”
Sources told 7NEWS that the cause of the fire is not believed to be suspicious in nature, while total damages were estimated to be as much as $3 million.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting the Salisbury Fire Department with the investigation.
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