Two Main Street residents escaped an , but their home and personal belongings did not survive the flames.
Deputy Fire Chief John Brown said firefighters were called to 833 Main Street at about 1:25 a.m. on Wednesday morning to a home that features two apartments.
By the time firefighters arrived, two family members from one side of the building had escaped. The residents from the other unit were not home at the time of the fire.
Though the flames were controlled in about 20 minutes, Brown said crews were working at the home until 6:30 a.m. to knock down walls and overhaul for potential hidden pockets of heat that could cause another fire.
While no human lives were lost, Brown said four cats died in the fire.
Trucks from Reading and North Reading helped to control the scene and Lowell Red Cross arrived as well to help find the displaced family somewhere to live temporarily.
“The cause is under investigation, but it is not of suspicious origin,” said Brown, who said the lengthy work at the scene did not indicate suspicion of arson. “Our procedure is to investigate all avenues so that when we do have an answer, it’s a concrete answer.”
Most of the flames were showing from the back of the building when firefighters arrived, Brown said. Brown estimated the building is about 30 feet by 60 feet.
“All things considered, everything went smoothly, but it’s just a time consuming process,” said Brown. “I was happy to know both people escaped without injury. Material objects can be replaced. People can’t be.”