LOWELL (CBS/AP) — Firefighters hampered by high winds and ice on the ground battled a four-alarm fire in Lowell that started in one home and spread to another overnight.

Flames broke out around 11 p.m. Tuesday in a three-story house on Varney Street and then jumped to the house next door.  All 20 people in both homes escaped safely, but some pets may have been lost.

Authorities say the fire apparently broke out in a second-floor bedroom of one home.

The fire tore through the roof of this home on Varney Street. (WBZ-TV)

The fire tore through the roof of this home on Varney Street. (WBZ-TV)

Crews arrived to smoke showing from the building, and soon after flames shot out of the rear of the home and spread to the second building.

There was no immediate word on a cause.

Seven people died in an apartment fire in Lowell last summer.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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