News, Police/Fire

Arson suspected in Revere house fire

Michael Zaccaria, chief of operations at Action Emergency Management, checks to make sure the fence around 39 Calumet St. in Revere is secure Saturday morning after a 2-alarm fire ripped through the unoccupied home Friday night. (Spenser R. Hasak)

REVERE — The State Fire Marshal has launched a criminal investigation into a two-alarm fire that blazed through a vacant Calumet Street house on Friday night.  

Three Revere Fire Department engines and a ladder truck responded to 39 Calumet Street at 8:41 p.m. As the flames grew it became a working fire and a second alarm was called shortly after, according to Deputy James Cullen of the Revere Fire Department.

Firefighters and equipment from Everett, Malden, Chelsea, Massport, Boston, Lynn, and Saugus rushed to assist Revere in stopping the fire. State police, the state fire marshal, and a state fire investigation unit were also at the scene.

“The initial fire was knocked down within an hour, but there was a lot of overhauling and clean up so the last unit didn’t clear out until midnight,” said Cullen.

A next door neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said the siding of their house near the bedroom window had severe melting damage. They, along with another neighbor, saw a man walking into the vacant home shortly before the fire began.

The neighbor said the house has been vacant for over a month but someone came over a week ago and cut down the large tree in front of it.

The Department of Fire Services (DFS) sent a fire investigator to work with local fire and police to determine the origin and cause of the fire, according to Jennifer Mieth, Public Information Officer from DFS. After managing to eliminate all other possible causes, the department officially turned it into a criminal investigation. During the investigation, all information regarding the fire’s origin is kept under wraps.

“Some people falsely assume when we send an investigator that automatically means the fire is suspicious and that’s not the case,” said Mieth. “This one, however, is an intentionally set fire and the investigation has moved from origin and cause phase to a criminal investigation.

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