Published November 19, 2020

FLAMES SHOOT from the top floor of the single-family home in a two-alarm blaze at 16 Sunset Ave. Saturday afternoon as a pair of North Reading firefighters reach the peak of the roof on Ladder 1. (Al Pereira/Advanced Photo)

NORTH READING — The North Reading Fire Department, assisted by crews from Lynnfield, Wakefield, Reading, Wilmington and Middleton, extinguished a two-alarm fire that significantly damaged a Sunset Avenue home on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 14. The family was unhurt; a cat perished.

FIREFIGHTERS are engulfed in smoke while ventilating the roof at 16 Sunset Ave. Saturday. (Al Pereira/Advanced Photo)

At approximately 12:30 p.m., North Reading Fire responded to a two-story, single-family home on 16 Sunset Ave. for a report of a fire. Upon arrival, crews witnessed heavy smoke and flames coming from the rear of the home.

PERFECTLY POSITIONED from atop the ladder truck, firefighters aim squarely at the upper level window to douse the flames. (Al Pereira/Advanced Photo)

“A second alarm was immediately struck and fire departments from five neighboring communities responded to the scene to provide mutual aid for North Reading. Members of the Andover and Lynnfield Fire Departments responded to provide station coverage,” stated Fire Chief Don Stats.

The North Reading Police Department also responded and closed the area of Sunset Avenue.

A LONE firefighter pokes his head out of a lower level window at the rear of the Sunset Ave. home to assess the progress being made in knocking the fire down. (Al Pereira/Advanced Photo)

North Reading Police also assisted the pump operator in securing a water supply.

Firefighters were able to successfully extinguish the flames and had the fire under control by approximately 2:30 p.m. The scene was cleared at 4 p.m.

“All residents made it out of the house safely. One cat died as a result of the fire,” Stats said, adding, “The home’s smoke detection system played an integral role in providing an early warning about the fire and ensuring that help could arrive quickly.”

Due to the extensive damage, the family residing in the home has been displaced and is being assisted by family members.

The origin and cause of the fire remain under investigation by both the North Reading Fire Department and the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s Office.