A vacant tenement building in Fitchburg was destroyed in a four-alarm blaze that spread to an occupied single-family home Friday evening.
According to the local newspaper, The Lowell Sun, the century old building at 6 Hale Street was inhabite by homeless. Authorities believe the fire is suspicious.
Firefighters battled the blaze for an hour and the west brick wall collapsed on to the adjacent home, crashing through its roof and starting fires that destroyed that structure as well. The owner of the adjacent house told the media he’s owned his home for 13 years and throughout that time, the destroyed building had been occupied by homeless and drug use was common.
People were seen running from the burning building and fire investigators say they will work to determine a cause, according to the newspaper. Of the four people who were known to stay in the building, all were accounted for the newspaper reported.
Firefighters and equipment from Leominster, Lunenburg, Westminster, Ashby, Townsend, Sterling and Gardner fought the fire and provided coverage during the blaze, according to The Sun.
The Fitchburg Fire Department has been watching the building for years. In 2008, there was an effort to repair the structure, but it was abandoned when the economy stagnated.