Fire destroys artist’s studio on Cogswell Street

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Ipswich Fire Service Photo

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IPSWICH — An early morning fire destroyed an artist’s studio and rendered a house on Cogswell Street uninhabitable. However, no one was injured in the incident, which happened on Wednesday, November 9.

The fire was called to 911 around 5:34 a.m. at 5 Cogswell Street, Chief Paul Parisi said in a statement.

The 1,600 square foot condo is owned by artist Meryl Baier, according to city tax records.

“Upon arrival, Engine 4, under the command of Lt. Gus McInnis, found a 2.5-story wood-frame duplex with heavy smoke coming from the building,” he said.

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After confirming that all people and pets had been evacuated, firefighters “and the animals were out of the building. They “entered the building through the front door and encountered thick, black, heated smoke coming from the basement,” Parisi’s statement said.

The firefighters were able to close the door, preventing the fire from spreading to the ground floor.

They then moved to the back yard to locate the partition. Firefighters “forced the basement door into the hot environment and extended a garden hose into the fire room, making an aggressive interior attack on the fire,” Parisi said.

“Once the fire was under control, they turned on a ventilation fan and carried out a restoration. They carried out air monitoring on both sides of the building, ensuring carbon monoxide and other combustion products were removed,” he added.

Ipswich Engine 2 responded to the scene with firefighters off duty and called, along with a Rowley engine company. Topsfield covered Ipswich station. The Electric Lighting Department (ELD) was also called to the scene to assist with the disconnection of power.

“The affected side of the duplex was uninhabitable immediately after the fire,” Parisi said. The Ipswich Fire Investigation Unit and the MA State Fire Marshal’s Office have been investigating the origin and cause of the fire, which will be listed as undetermined.

“However, it’s not suspicious in nature,” Parisi said.

Parisi credited the “quick action of the resident as well as the quick response of Engine 4 in putting out the fire so quickly”.

“We were lucky that Engine 4 had four firefighters that morning,” Parisi said. “Having four people allows the company to run multiple operations simultaneously. Fires like these can spread quickly, so stopping the vertical spread and getting water on the fire quickly was key to a successful outcome.

Parisi also reminded residents to check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their homes.

“This fire reminds our residents to make sure their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are operational. This resident heard the smoke alarm and was able to act quickly. Too often this is not the case. Recent science tells us that we have less than three minutes to escape once the alarm has sounded.

Parisi said if residents need help with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, they should call Ipswich Fire at (978) 356-6630.

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