Fire leaves family's home uninhabitable

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Madeline Hughes, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
·2 min read
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Mar. 15—A local family with two high-school aged boys was displaced from their home after a fire.

The house Fabiola Rodriguez De Leon rented caught fire last Thursday night and was destroyed. Property damage totaled over $50,000, said Fire Chief Mike Mansfield. No one was inured, however, De Lenon is seeking the community's help in finding an affordable rental, so her ninth-grade son, Alan, can stay at Andover High School. Her eldest, Jimmy, graduated in January.

"Alan has transferred schools three times in five years and I don't want to have to keep moving him," she said, explaining she needs help to find an affordable rental in town.

The family is staying with Fabiola's sister, who lives nearby, while they search for a more permanent solution, she said.

The Andover High School Parent Advisory Council is raising funds to help the family through this difficult time. Donations can be made at bit.ly/3qWmaE0.

The Fire Department was called to the home at 9:47 p.m., Thursday, March 11, Mansfield said.

The home is in a remote part of town near the North Reading line, so it took about 10 minutes for the first firefighters to get to the scene, he said. By the time the department got to the home there was heavy smoke coming from the roof and the fire had been burning for awhile, he said.

Mansfield wants to remind people to call 911 as soon as possible to help ensure minimal fire damage, he said. Also, working smoke detectors are important for early action, he said, reminding people to change the batteries this week in tandem with daylight savings time.

"When we have that delayed of a response it all adds up to more and more damage," Mansfield said.

The Andover Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal are still investigating the cause, Mansfield said. Lawrence, North Andover, Methuen, North Reading, and Tewksbury fire departments all responded with mutual aid.