LYNN (CBS) – A spectacular fire gutted a home in Lynn Tuesday morning and damaged four nearby houses. No one was hurt, thanks in part to an alert off-duty firefighter from another town.

Flames burst out of a triple-decker on Essex Street just before 9 a.m.

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Video and photos from the neighborhood showed the fire shooting out the second and third floor windows of the home quickly spreading to the roof. The intense heat also melted the siding off of houses next door.

Off-duty Nahant firefighter Rob Barreda had just dropped his daughter off at day care when he spotted the fire moments after it started. He called 911 and ran to the house to make sure everyone escaped safely.

Flames shot out of the home on Essex Street Tuesday morning. (Photo credit: Rob Barreda)

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“Hopefully I didn’t step on anybody’s toes or freak anybody out,” he told WBZ-TV. “You want to make sure nobody’s in there. If I can go in and make sure that the building’s clear then I’m going to do it.”

The fire was brought under control around 11 a.m.

The fire gutted the triple-decker home on Essex Street Tuesday morning. (WBZ-TV)

There’s no word yet on a cause. There are three apartments in the home, according to the fire department, and seven adults and six children were living there.

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The fire chief said the building is probably a total loss.