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‘My Whole Childhood Just Gone’: Fire Destroys 3-Family Home in Lawrence, Mass.

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation

A 3-family home was destroyed by a fire in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Wednesday.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at 274 Haverhill St. just after 9 a.m.

Aerial footage from NBC10 Boston's Sky Ranger Helicopter captured thick clouds of smoke and flames coming from the structure's roof. One firefighter was seen assessing the scene overhead with a large ladder.

The fire quickly reached 3-alarms and by 1:30 p.m. the house had collapsed.

"The fire had a good advance on us when we arrived," Lawrence Deputy Fire Chief Jack Meaney said.

Columbia Gas was called in due to a concern of a gas leak but, after an assessment, an evacuation order for the house next door was lifted.

Resident Andres Rodriguez said his family was upstairs when the fire started but they managed to get out safely.

"I was born and raised in that house, my whole childhood just gone," Rodriguez said.

The family watched from outside while pieces of the structure came down.

"It was too fast so they couldn't move the car, they couldn't do anything. They couldn't bring anything," Rodriguez said.

The person who recently bought the home said construction crews had been working on the third floor as recently as Wednesday morning.

Another family said the crew had been cutting metals and installing a new emergency stairway out back when the fire started.

One firefighter had to be taken to an area hospital for heat exhaustion. He is expected to be OK.

The house has been deemed a total loss.

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

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