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January 22, 2013

Editorial: Fire crews deserve thanks

Gloucester’s firefighters, as noted by Deputy Chief Miles Schlichte and property owner Robert Beloff, faced a number of obstacles in battling the weekend fire on Perkins Street that left eight people homeless.

For, when they responded to the late-night blaze, they were confronted not with just smoke and flames bursting from upstairs window and the roof, but with chilling cold, icing streets, difficult access to the house through the narrow streets, and the close proximity of other properties that were clearly in harm’s way on the windy night.

True to form, they beat back every one of those hurdles. And while they didn’t get to save much of the 9 Perkins St. house, they did manage to confine the fire to that single property — and handle the fire in a manner that somehow avoided any significant injuries, or worse. That’s nothing short of extraordinary.

Our hearts go out to all of those who suffered such dire losses in Friday night’s blaze.

But we also extend thanks to the fire crews from Gloucester and its surrounding communities who kept this tragedy from becoming much, much worse — and to the volunteers with the Northeast Massachusetts chapter of the American Red Cross, who provided shelter and aid to those who needed it. For all, it was a job well done.

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