Fire damages Salem condos

By Andrew Hick

SALEM -- A fire during the height of a severe storm early yesterday morning caused extensive damage to two Settlers Way condominiums.

Deputy Fire Chief John Munroe said firefighters arrived around 4:30 a.m. and found heavy smoke pouring from the top floor of 4 Settlers Way. Munroe quickly called for all four available engines and a ladder truck to extinguish the fire.

The city's ladder crew cut a hole in the roof to ventilate the smoke and intense heat from the attic while engine crews went into the condos. Once inside, firefighters found flames in the attic floor that had spread to several bays.

It didn't take crews long to knock down the flames, Munroe said, which saved the fire from spreading into more nearby condos.

Firefighters remained on the scene for almost two hours.

"This was a very labor intensive fire and the heat from the fire and the humidity took a toll on all the firefighters working at the scene," Munroe said.

The condos at 3 and 4 Settlers Way, owned by Shayne and Jeffery Trubisz and David King, respectively, suffered heavy fire, smoke and water damage, Munroe said. Both tenants were displaced by the fire.

Investigators were still searching for the cause of the blaze yesterday, and said they weren't sure if the fire was weather related.

Munroe said no one was hurt in the blaze, because smoke detectors inside the homes activated and gave residents enough time to flee.

As city crews fought the fire, firefighters from Beverly, Peabody and Marblehead covered Salem.