By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,311)
A two-alarm fire was set early Saturday morning above the popular convenience store, Colucci’s, at the corner of North and Congress Streets; 135 Congress Street. The fire which started just after 3:30 am, displaced three families above the store and has closed the store due to water and smoke damage – indefinitely. Firefighters tried to save as much of the stock as possible.
According to one of the displaced tenants in the building an arsonist was responsible for the fire that started on the second floor. An intruder who was turned away from the third floor apartment after getting a drink of water; set a fire in the hallway on the second floor on his way out of the three story building, according to the tenant. The fire was set in a closet in the hallway next to a second floor tenant. Among other items, the closet stored paint. The alleged arsonist, who appeared to have been drinking, was taken into police custody in the stairwell of the building as he was existing. There was one family on the third floor and two families on the second floor.
No one was injured. One tenant was not home at the time. One older and beloved family dog, Sadie, died due to smoke inhalation. Two of three cats living on the second floor did not survive either. The exterior of the building appears not to be seriously damaged most lilkely because the fire department contained the fire. Engine 1 is directly across the street from Colucci’s. The building was built in 1884 and of wood.
The American Red Cross arrived just before 6 am to assist tenants find temporary homes. All three have been temporarily moved to hotels in the area.
Editor’s note: MHN.com is currently unable to upload pictures so there are none here yet.