Three firefighters hospitalized battling three-alarm fire in Merrimac

MERRIMAC, Mass. — In just two hours, a home on Skunk Road in Merrimac burned to pieces Sunday, leaving only the chimneys behind.

Luckily the two people inside the home made it out safely, but three firefighters were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Merrimac Fire Department is a small volunteer department, so they relied heavily on support from more than a dozen other fire departments to help put this huge fire out.

“When I turned around, my wife yelled in the back and said what’s going on, it’s all black. We turned around, and the whole thing was black smoke coming up,” said Dennis Brodie, who lives nearby.

Fire Chief Larry Fisher says this was a tough one since a propane tank on the grill right outside the home caught fire and exploded, accelerating those flames.

“A fire of this magnitude, without the propane, would take a little bit longer time to do its thing and burn and give us a chance to fight it,” said Chief Fisher. “That wasn’t the case today.”

Plus, he says the water supply is limited in this neighborhood, and the drought has made matters worse.

“Water is a hard to come by commodity today,” said Fisher.

The chief says the fire was so big, it sparked a brush fire in the wooded area nearby.

At one point there was concern the fire would hit the high-tension lines, which feed power to all of the Merrimack Valley.

“Could have been much, much worse,” said Chief Fisher.

The extreme heat was also a challenge.

The chief says before leaving the scene, all fire crews had to get checked out by EMS.

“It’s important that we’re able to respond to another call later if needed, so we take great care of our people – this heat, you know, is like soup. It’s pretty thick,” said Chief Fisher.

Now neighbors are rallying support for the family who lost everything.

“She’s been a sweetheart, she’s been a neighbor of mine for the last 30 something years, she’s a wonderful person,” said Brodie. “I feel bad for her, so when everything calms down we’ll go up and see her and comfort her and do what we can for her.”

The chief says unfortunately, the family’s cat may still be missing.

The cause of this fire is still under investigation.

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