PHOTOS: J. BERGERON
Firefighters from Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and Lowell have been battling a three alarm blaze at 118 Olive Avenue in Lawrence for more than four hours.
Olive Avenue is at the top of Tower Hill which made it very difficult for firefighters to get water pressure onto the inferno that displaced at least six people in the late hours of Wednesday night and early into Thursday morning.
Firefighters reported an explosion on the first floor of the building just minutes after arriving and being warned that multiple oxygen tanks were present inside the home. Within a few minutes firefighters were ordered off the roof of the building and those inside to evacuate immediately.
Five people were taken to Lawrence General Hospital for smoke inhalation; Valley Patriot sources say they are a 49 year old female, 29 year old female, 36 year old male, 13 year old female and 3 year old female. Firefighters were able to rescue one dog using a K9 breathing mask.
One dog and two cats could not be saved. One witness told The Valley Patriot that they saw one person jump onto the second floor porch roof after the fire broke out. Firefighters from Dracut, Salem, NH., Haverhill and North Reading provided fire coverage at Lawrence stations throughout the night.
Heal Lawrence is a volunteer organization that helps displaced families. Item or financial donations for those displaced from the fire should go through Heal Lawrence.