By Dave Rogers
---- — AMESBURY — As many as seven people were forced out of their homes early Saturday after a two-alarm fire ripped through the third floor of a four-unit apartment building on Congress Street.
While the blaze was contained to a single bedroom, water damage was extensive enough for power to be shut off to the building, located next to the former Horace Mann Elementary School . The apartment building was deemed uninhabitable for the immediate future.
An Amesbury fire official said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it appears to have started inside the bedroom and consumed most of its contents before it was knocked down. Assisting local firefighters were units from Newburyport, Salisbury and Merrimac. The city’s emergency management agency and building inspector were also called to the scene.
There were no injuries reported and all occupants and their pets were able to get out of the building safely, the fire official said. He did not know where the affected residents were staying, but the American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist.