MERRIMAC — Fire Chief Ralph Spencer and Police Chief Eric M. Shears report that a major fire destroyed an apartment building Friday morning.
Police officers and firefighters responded at 8:43 a.m. to the Greenleaf Park apartments, located at 1 Greenleaf Drive for an activated fire alarm. Fire was evident immediately upon arrival, and Working Fire, Second Alarm, and Third Alarm responses were requested in rapid succession, sending additional units and mutual aid to the scene.
One woman was trapped inside a second floor unit and jumped at the urging of Merrimac Police Officer Robert Coppola into his arms and was brought to safety. She was taken to Anna Jaques Hospital for evaluation.
The four-unit apartment building is considered a total loss. High winds fed the fire and necessitated a large response of personnel and apparatus. Chief Spencer praised the professionalism of the firefighters and other first responders at the scene, and is pleased to report that no civilians were seriously injured. The fire was contained to the original building and did not damage any other buildings in the complex.
Five people were displaced in the fire. Chief Spencer estimated the damage at $1 million.
The origin and cause of the fire are under investigation by the Merrimac Fire Department, Merrimac Police Department, and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey’s office.
The building did not have sprinklers, as it was built before they were required.
The Merrimac Fire Department received extensive mutual aid from neighboring agencies and the Seacoast Chief Fire Officers Mutual Aid District, which send firefighters from throughout the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Seacoast to assist. Mutual aid was received from: Amesbury, Salisbury, West Newbury, Newburyport, Newton (New Hampshire) and East Kingston (New Hampshire) while fire units from Groveland, Georgetown, and Plaistow (New Hampshire) covered the Merrimac Fire Department during the incident. The State Fire Marshal’s Office rebab unit also responded.