Dec. 31—LAWRENCE — A late-night fire swept through an Abbott Street multi-family home and scorched the house next door Thursday,
Three people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation as firefighters battled the blazes well into Friday morning.
The fire is believed to have ignited in a two-family home at 107 Abbott St. It stretched to another multi-family home just several feet away at 109-111 Abbott St., fire Chief Brian Moriarty said.
Moriarty lauded Deputy Chief John McInnis with leading an aggressive attack of the fire, which broke out just before 11 p.m.
McInnis oversees the department's Group 3 firefighters. They were met by heavy fire at 107 Abbott St. when they arrived.
Moriarty said, "Deputy McInnis deserves a lot of credit for calling the alarms so quickly and setting up things strategically."
The chief said four people were left homeless. They were living in the home at 107 Abbott St. The blaze burned through the roof.
Another 21 people lived next door "in the three-decker." While there was damage, Moriarty said the residents will likely be able to get back into the building in the near future.
The building was covered in vinyl-siding, some which twisted and charred due to the heat of the inferno next door. Underneath the siding, however, was asbestos insulation with is fire resistant, Moriarty said.
Moriarty said firefighters did an "excellent job" containing the fire and damage in the congested and thickly settled neighborhood.
"They were able to slow is down and knock it down," Moriarty said.
Once the fire was under control, firefighters were able to get inside the building and literally rip out hot spots.
He was unsure if the home at 107 Abbott St. will need to be torn down.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Moriarty said smoke detectors could be heard sounding during the fire and reminded "smoke detectors save lives."
The house at 107 Abbott St. is owned by Melvelin Vasquez and is currently valued at $316,000. It was built around 1900, according to city assessing records.
Also built around 1900, the house at 109-11 Abbott St., a three-family, is currently assessed at $491,000, according to city records.
Heal Lawrence, the local nonprofit that helps fire victims, is collecting of donations of cards to stores, grocery stories and restaurants for the victims.
The gift cards can be dropped off at The Center on Haverhill Street or Heavn'ly Donuts on Essex Street.
Lawrence firefighers were assisted by mutual aid from numerous area fire departments including Andover, Methuen, Dracut, Lowell, Middleton and Salem, N.H.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.