, Newburyport, MA

February 8, 2013

Stove fire destroys Seabrook mobile home

By Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — SEABROOK — An elderly woman was burned out of her home Wednesday night by a fast-moving stove fire.

According to Seabrook fire Chief Everett Strangman, the B Street mobile home is a total loss, but firefighters were able to contain the blaze, preventing it from spreading to nearby residences in the mobile home park.

Strangman said the department received a 911 call about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The entire station responded, and the house was heavily involved with flames when firefighters arrived.

A neighbor said the home belonged to Carol Richards.

Strangman said Richards put a pan of potatoes to boil on her stove, then stepped away. Upon returning, she found the top of the stove on fire, he said.

“She was smart and did the right thing; she dialled 911 and left the house,” Strangman said. “I think she was talking to our 911 dispatch as she was walking out of the house.”

It took firefighters about 90 minutes to put out the fire and clear the scene, Strangman said. But the interior of the home was completely destroyed.

Strangman said while no one was injured, Richards walked away with very little.

“She was concerned about getting her purses, which had money and her license in them,” Strangman said. “We were able to get them for her, but they were pretty charred. I don’t know if all her clothing burned, but what’s there, I don’t think anyone would want to wear. It was an interior home fire, you go in and use a lot of water.”

Strangman believes Richards has family in surrounding towns who were able to come to her aid and provide shelter. He described the home as uninhabitable, adding that it will most likely have to be removed from its lot.

According to neighbor Paula Wood, Richards works at the local Walmart and is popular with her co-workers, who may be working to help her in this time of need.

“I think they’re going to be stepping up to the plate,” Wood said.

Seabrook received mutual aid from fire departments in Hampton and Amesbury, which provided station and ambulance coverage while local firefighters were all at the scene.