A apparent small electrical fire in a house on Elwell Street briefly forced four families and a total of some 15 people from their homes in Gloucester in the early dawn Friday, but residents were able to return to the building later in the morning.

Gloucester Deputy Fire Chief Tom LoGrande said there was minimal damage to the building but that the shutdown of utilities forced the residents from the four-unit house at 5 Elwell St. The regional chapter of the American Red Cross was assisting the residents with temporary housing, he said.

The fire was discovered when one of the residents who goes to work early in the day found smoke coming from the attic shortly after 3 a.m. and called the Fire Department, according to LoGrande.

The first crews on the scene did not find any outward signs of smoke, but in pulling up the floorboards between the attic and a second-floor living room, they found a number of burning wires.

LoGrande said it was not clear whether other residents were already out of the house or if some needed to be evacuated when firefighters arrived, but there were no reports of injuries.

For more on this story, check back here to gloucestertimes.com and look to Saturday's print edition of The Gloucester Daily Times.

Ray Lamont can be reached at 978-675-2705, or via email at rlamont@gloucestertimes.com.

Recommended for you