On Friday, November 18, 2005, at 2:21 pm, The Lowell, Massachusetts Fire Department received a report of a structure fire at 22 Varney Street, in the Acre section of the city. A first alarm assignment responded.
First arriving units found heavy fire showing from the first floor on the D side of the three story, wood framed multi-family home. The heavy fire was extending to the exposure building, which was also a three story wood frame home. A second alarm was struck at 2:26 pm.
Fire companies began extinguishment efforts, knocking down the exposure fire and beginning interior attack. Interior conditions deteriorated as fire spread via numerous void spaces and chases.
The building was evacuated, and an accountability check of all personnel performed and defensive operations were undertaken as heavy fire spread to the roof.
Aerial master streams from Lowell Ladder 3, Ladder 4, and Lawrence Ladder 4 were placed into operation at the front of the building and on the D side exposure.
Multiple handlines were used to protect exposures on the B side.
The fire was elevated to four alarms before being brought under control approximately 3 hours after the first alarm.
Over 50 firefighters on 11 engines, 3 ladders, and a rescue unit operated at the scene. Mutual aid from Lawrence, Billerica and Chelmsford assisted Lowell Fire companies on the fireground. A special call was made for the Tyngsboro Fire Department's Air Cascade unit to fill air bottles during interior operations.
Mutual aid from Nashua, NH, Dracut, Westford and Tewksbury covered Lowell stations during the fire.
No one was home at the time of the fire and no serious injuries were reported.
The main fire building was approximately 100 years old and had undergone extensive renovations according to neighbors.
The property value was assessed at $325,000.
A damage assessment was not immediately available, but the home suffered extensive fire, smoke, and water damage on all floors.
The fire is under investigation by the Lowell Fire Investigation Unit.