- Department of Fire Services
Media Contact for No Injuries Reported in 9-Alarm Salisbury Fire
Jake Wark, Public Information Officer
SALISBURY — A wind-driven fire in Salisbury destroyed five buildings overnight, but no injuries have been reported as of this afternoon, Salisbury Fire Chief Scott Carrigan and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said.
“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,” said Chief Carrigan. “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.”
“Exactly where and how the fire started are under investigation,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “What we do know is that this fire started, grew, and spread in the middle of the night when most people were sleeping. This is why we urge everyone to be sure their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are present and working on every floor of every home. Whatever else you do today, check your smoke alarms. The cost of installing fresh batteries or replacing alarms that are more than 10 years old is a small price to pay compared to the damage we saw at this scene.”
The fire was first reported at about 1:47 am by a MassDOT employee who called 9-1-1 after observing smoke and flames. More than 100 firefighters and about 30 apparatus from Salisbury and communities across Essex County and southern New Hampshire responded to fight the fire. They were assisted by the Department of Fire Services, which deployed specialized apparatus and personnel to support communications and firefighter health and safety during the ongoing incident, as well as the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Cataldo Ambulance, the Boston Sparks Association, and Rehab 5.
Four residential buildings and a motel are considered a total loss, and some nearby buildings were also damaged. Preliminary information suggests that two occupants of the motel escaped safely and that some of the residences were unoccupied seasonal properties. More than two dozen people have been displaced and are being assisted by the Red Cross of Massachusetts and Salvation Army. The origin and cause of the fire are being jointly investigated by the Salisbury Fire and Police departments and the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office.