Published in the April 10, 2017 edition.
WAKEFIELD — A Greenwood family will be temporarily displaced after an electrical fire cause significant damage to their Myrtle Avenue home Friday night.
The Wakefield Fire Department received numerous calls for a reported house fire in the area of Renwick Road at approximately 8:07 p.m. on Friday. Firefighters under the command of Acting Captain Robert Taggart were redirected to Myrtle Avenue by police, arriving at 8:08 p.m. to find smoke and fire venting out of the rear of a single family home at 90 Myrtle Avenue. The only occupant at the time of the fire was the homeowner, Mrs. Pauline DeGusto, who had managed to evacuate the home prior to the department’s arrival. The incident was declared a working structure fire, bringing a Stoneham engine to the fire for extra manpower.
The fire started at the outside rear wall of the residence, extending into the adjacent three season porch. Mrs. DeGusto noticed a large volume of smoke entering the home shortly before the smoke detectors activated and exited the home via her wheelchair down the front ramp. Residents on nearby Renwick Road spotted the flames and called 911.
A detailed investigation by the Wakefield Fire Department fire investigation team revealed that an electrical cord running from the basement of the home through a bulkhead to a detached shed had apparently been damaged when pinched by the closed bulkhead door. The cord apparently then arced causing the exterior siding of the home to ignite.
The first arriving firefighters from Engine 2 including Acting Lieutenant Erik Cole and Firefighters Nate Bleu and Sean Giampa were able to quickly knock down the flames, containing the fire to the rear wall and porch of the home. The remainder of the home received significant smoke damage. Mrs. DeGusto, as well as her daughter Janine DeGusto and her son-in-law Kevin Dougherty, who were not home at the time of the fire, will be displaced from the home until repairs can be made.
Chief Sullivan praised firefighters for quickly knocking down of the fire. Firefighters were able to quickly deploy two hose lines, hitting the fire as it started to extend across the porch ceiling towards the main house. There were no injuries as a result of the fire. Property damage is estimated to be in excess of $20,000. A Reading engine covered the town at Wakefield Fire Headquarters during the fire.