By Stephanie Bergman
A fire on Veterans Way on Monday afternoon followed a busy weekend for firefighters, with three brush fires occupying them Sunday night.
The cause of fire at 57 Veterans Way, a Gloucester Housing Authority property, was still under investigation Monday night.
Three teenagers who had been in the building at the time of the fire, reported at 3:20 p.m. and knocked down by 3:40 p.m., were unharmed, and no one was transported to the hospital.
Smoke from the fire filled the house and crept into the basement of adjoining home, but there was no apparent structural damage to the house.
Local investigators called in the state fire marshal's office to assist in the probe.
American Red Cross volunteers were at 57 Veterans Way last night, providing housing and assistance with food for the teens and their parent.
The brush fires Sunday night also damaged no property and caused no injuries, but posed a number of hurdles for firefighters.
The first fire started in the Poles Hill area, with the alarm sounding at 6:05 p.m., and 25 firefighters responding in eight vehicles.
The fire had begun to spread toward houses on Ferry Street when firefighters responded, but they were able to get the blaze contained before any property was endangered.
Two hydrants were tapped for the water to put out the fire, according to the fire report.
Police and fire reports indicated that people had been at, but left the scene of the fire before firefighters arrived. Witnesses reported seeing young adults leave the area, and police reports indicated that a green Ford Explorer and a black Nissan Maxima were seen leaving the area just before the blaze was reported.
Firefighters cleared the scene at 10:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, at 10:10 p.m., one truck with five firefighters was called to Niles Pond Road for another fire. That blaze was much smaller, and extinguished with 300 gallons of water, according to the report.
The cause of that fire was reported as the improper disposal of ashes from a wood stove next to a pile of debris, including stumps and brush. The ashes caused the debris to ignite, and the fire wasn't extinguished until 10:43 p.m.
Then, embers from the Poles Hill fire caused another to erupted into flames at 11:37 p.m. This time, two trucks and seven firefighters were sent back out to fight the fire.
Half an acre was consumed in the second Poles Hill fire. The Fire Department cleared the area at 12:45 a.m. Monday.
According to fire officials, controlled burns were not allowed Sunday because of a red flag warning for dry and windy conditions.
Due to the extremely dry winter and spring, Gloucester, as well as the rest of New England, has been facing fire warnings for months.
In March, Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk ordered the public woods closed until further notice, and they remain closed today. With no signs marking the order, however, some say they were not aware of the order and continue to go into the woods anyway.
Stephanie Bergman can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3451, or email@example.com.