Haverhill Family Loses Home to Massive Fire Morning After Christmas

Firefighters resorted to using water from the Merrimack River to put out the fire, but the single-family home was destroyed

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A fire destroyed a home in Haverhill, Massachusetts, just one day after Christmas, with firefighters being forced to use water from the Merrimack River to put the fire out, officials said.

The homeowners called 911 early Monday morning about what they believed was an electrical issue with the hot tub outside the large, single-family home on Coffin Avenue, Haverhill Fire Chief Robert O'Brien said.

By the time firefighters arrived on scene, the fire had already taken over the home, and the family of four, including two kids ages 7 and 10, were safely out of the house.

The man was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation and released. He came back to see what was left of his family's home.

A house in Haverhill was destroyed Monday morning after the homeowner reported having electrical issues with their hot tub. Crews were forced to take water from the Merrimack River to attack the fire, but unfortunately the house is considered a total loss.

Neighbors say the homeowner also owns neighboring Mary-Anna's Marina. And as it turns out, the closeness of the river was a big help to firefighters.

When fire crews tried to use a nearby hydrant to battle the flames, it wouldn't work, so firefighters resorted to using water from the Merrimack River to put out the blaze.

"We had a problem with one of the hydrants out on the main streets coming in, the crews did a great job drafting off the Merrimack River," O'Brien said.

The chief said it was probably the hydrant's age, not the freezing weather, that caused the issue.

"Fortunately it wasn’t in the middle of the night, and the winds had died down from what we have experienced the last couple of days," he added.

Even with the weather not quite as bitterly cold, the Haverhill Fire Department needed help from nearby communities and they continued to battle hot spots all day.

"These types of fires, especially with the weather, are very labor intensive fires and you need all the help you can get quickly, you know to get going, recovery, you need people to rotate fresh firefighters in," the chief said.

A team from the Salvation Army was on hand to provide support first responders and the displaced family, who is staying with relatives.

The displaced family is staying with relatives.

Investigators were looking into what caused the blaze; the chief said they will have an official cause on Tuesday.

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