WAKEFIELD — A space heater that was left on in an upstairs bedroom was determined to be the cause of a house fire on Forest Street late Friday morning.
Wakefield firefighters under the command of Captain John Walsh responded to numerous 911 calls reporting a fire at 21 Forest St. at approximately 10:41 a.m. They arrived to find a small cape-style single family residence with heavy smoke showing from the second-floor windows and eaves. Fire quickly appeared at a rear second floor window as first arriving companies started to stretch hose lines.
A second alarm was struck for additional personnel at 10:51 a.m., bringing engines from Melrose, Reading, and Stoneham as well as a North Reading ladder truck to the fire. A Woburn and Saugus engine as well as a Lynnfield ladder truck covered the town during the fire.
The fire was brought under control approximately 45 minutes after the first alarm, according to Fire Chief Michael Sullivan. Firefighters were extinguishing hidden fire in the walls and roof for another 30 minutes after the visible fire was knocked down.
Chief Sullivan reported that the residence suffered considerable fire damage throughout the second floor with the remainder of the home suffering considerable water and smoke damage. The sole occupant of the home was at work at the time of the fire. He will be displaced from his home for an extended period until repairs can be made.
Troopers from the State Fire Marshal’s Office were contacted to assist in the fire investigation. The fire was determined to have originated inside a second-floor bedroom. Chief Sullivan stated that the cause of the fire was determined to be accidental, resulting from a space heater inside that bedroom that was left on at the time of the fire. One firefighter was taken to Melrose-Wakefield Hospital as a precaution with heat exhaustion. He was treated and released from the hospital later in the day.
Sullivan credited Captain Walsh and the first arriving firefighters for the quick extinguishment of the fire.
“They acted quickly and decisively to knock down the fire and keep it from extending to nearby homes,” Chief Sullivan said. “The mutual aid companies aided in complet