Firefighters Battle 3-Alarm Blaze on North Shore

Massachusetts firefighters battled a 3-alarm fire in Manchester-by-the-Sea Sunday afternoon.

The fire is out now, but the weather conditions made it difficult for crews battling the flames.

"It was going up," Holly Giannino said.

She says the orange glow and billowing black smoke looked like a forest fire erupting in her backyard.

"It was really terrifying," she said.

It was her neighbor's house, engulfed in an inferno.

"Weather's against us to start right," officials said.

Fanned by high winds, the flames raced through the two-story colonial on 30 University Road early Sunday afternoon.

The homeowner and his dog were the only ones home at the time, and they both escaped unharmed.

"We were freaking out," neighbor Teddy Gravel said.

He says he first saw heavy smoke coming from his neighbor's garage.

"We do not know what the cause is yet," he said.

It quickly turned into a four-alarm fire as crews struggled to access the unplowed icy roads.

"The water sources were not compromised, it's just that given the unique neighborhood and due to the fact we couldn't get up the hill the main drive, we had to improvise," officials said.

The fire is now nearly out, but as the smoke settles, it is clear that it is unlikely anything will be salvaged.

"There is no salvage. It's a total loss," officials said.

Fire crews are expected to remain on scene overnight Sunday to deal with any potential hot spots.

The fire was reported at 30 University Lane just shortly after noontime, summoning firefighters from area communities.

A fire official said there were no injuries reported.

The North Shore has seen several multi-alarm fires in recent weeks with unrelated structure fires occurring in Salisbury, Newburyport, Newbury, and Georgetown.

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