BILLERICA (CBS) – A fast-moving fire ripped through a house that was under construction on Sheridan Street in Billerica Friday evening.
The house collapsed and flames damaged two nearby homes. At least two other homes suffered heat damage. A mixture of embers and a light breeze also caused small brush fires to start in several area yards.
“What I saw was just flames going up and literally in five minutes, the house just went down,” witness Tony Pantano said.
Firefighters responded to the three alarm fire around 5:30 p.m. and found flames already showing.
“It was just a framed house with wooden siding,” Deputy Fire Chief Tom Ferraro said. “So basically, it was an open lumber yard.”
Ferraro could not say whether anyone was at the construction site at the time of the fire.
Residents were inside the two homes adjacent to the fire, including 14-year-old Safa Khalifa. “I just saw a lady screaming 911 and then I saw the house with a little bit of smoke on it and I ran out,” Khalifa said.
One of those homes just sustained damage to its siding. The other home had structural damage and was inspected by the State Building Inspector.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.