BEVERLY (CBS) — A wind-shipped 3-alarm fire destroyed two houses under construction in Beverly late Sunday night and damaged six others.
The fire started in an unfinished home on Folger Avenue around 9:30 p.m. and quickly spread, forcing several residents of the neighborhood to evacuate.
Winds carried embers several hundred yards away before they landed on cars.
“I saw ashes aglow, said Donna Howard, on whose porch ashes landed. “I’ll tell you, for a while, a good half hour, flames shooting over this way.”
The fire spread to a second unoccupied home and then a third home that was occupied. The third home sustained heavy damage.
The fire was under control by about 11 p.m.
There’s no word yet on how it started, but investigators said it appears to be suspicious.
“Just because they’re vacant buildings, for that reason and that reason alone,” Beverly Fire Chief Paul Cotter told reporters Monday morning.
Cotter said a fire in same neighborhood two years ago was ruled arson and no suspects were caught.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports