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Peabody fire leaves 10 homeless

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Destruction at Washington Street and Swampscott Avenue in Peabody is seen the day after a fire tore through Christmas night.

By LEAH DEARBORN

PEABODY — Ten people are without homes after a three-alarm fire Christmas night on Washington Street. The blaze, which began shortly after 8 p.m. on Christmas at 168 Washington St., raged for about two hours.

Jeff Hall, a Red Cross spokesman, said 10 people, which included seven adults and three children, were displaced by the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to firefighter Luke Murdoch. He was unaware of any injuries caused by the fire.

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Tenant Mark Wishney said he first noticed smoke coming up from the lower floor of the building Sunday night.

“We figured out pretty fast to get out of there,” he said. “The smoke was so bad. We lost a lot of possessions, but we’re just thankful no one was hurt.”

David McKenzie, a first floor tenant whose cat perished in the blaze, said he still hoped to retrieve some items from his apartment.

Hall said the public can assist victims of the fire by donating to the Red Cross.  

Firefighters work to control a fire at the corner of Washington Street. and Swampscott Avenue.

[/media-credit] Firefighters work to control a fire Christmas night at the corner of Washington Street and Swampscott Avenue in Peabody.

A Peabody firefighter kneels on the curb to aim his hose into the open door of the burning building on Washington Street.

[/media-credit] A Peabody firefighter kneels on the curb to aim his hose into the open door of the burning building on Washington Street.

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