NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Breaking News

Local News

April 7, 2013

Brush fires hit in region

AMESBURY — This spring’s dry conditions have caused a rash of warnings about potential brush fires, and yesterday Amesbury experienced just such a fire — combined with a brief power outage and a highway auto accident.

A brush fire, fueled by high winds, lapped onto Interstate 495 north near Pender Farm yesterday afternoon, stalling traffic for half a mile and precipitating a two-car collision on the southbound side.

Local, Merrimac and Salisbury firefighters battled the brush fire, centered underneath high power lines that stretched over the highway, for about an hour before units began clearing the scene. At one point, flames scorched a portion of the median between the highway, adding further difficulty for firefighters.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Middle Road residents watching the proceeding from the top of a grassy hill near the highway said they heard a transformer blow near the power wires. Indeed, Amesbury residents experienced a momentary power outage around the same time firefighters responded to the scene around 2 p.m. The outage appeared to play havoc with traffic lights on Route 110 at Main Street, as they went into a default blinking pattern and snarled traffic.

Reached later in the afternoon, an Amesbury firefighter said it was too early to tell whether a blown transformer caused the fire, saying the matter was still under investigation. Newburyport firefighters and an Atlantic ambulance crew covered the Amesbury fire station during the event, the fire official added.

As firefighters were battling the brush fire, two cars traveling southbound, a black Audi sedan and a golden Chevy SUV, collided. Drivers of both vehicles were seen walking around afterward seemingly uninjured. A state trooper took statements from both drivers before a tow truck began removing the vehicles. Middle Road residents said visibility was not an issue in regard to the crash despite heavy smoke.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Special Features