A busy morning yesterday for firefighters in Gloucester, who had to battle two structure fires in brutally cold conditions. One blaze burned at Crutchman’s, the former Gloucester Emporium. Not long after that one, another fire broke out at a home on the York River at Allmondsville. In both instances, there was significant damage, but fortunately nobody was hurt. The blaze at Crutchman’s was reported just around 9AM, when heavy smoke was seen coming from a chimney that was connected to an oil-burning furnace. Investigators believe the furnace did not directly cause the fire. They say instead, it appears that the chimney failed. Between $25,000 to $30,000 worth of damage was done to the building, and said there was smoke damage throughout the business.
As that fire was still being fought, a call came in for a second fire at a home on Grenwich Lane on the shores of the York River at Allmondsville. The caller said smoke was coming from an electrical outlet, but upon further investigation, it was learned that the fire was the result of hot ashes from a wood stove being placed on the deck, which somehow sparked something in a nearby outlet, and then burned to the inside of the home, and finally climbed into the roof. Everyone inside was able to escape safely, and flames were contained to just one part of the house. Even so, damage was considerable. No one was hurt.