NEWS

Video: 2 dead in Danvers fire

Myrna Fearer and Cathryn O'Hare

Two people perished in a Lawrence Street two-family home Wednesday afternoon, but were not found until firefighters were able to knock down a fierce fire enough to gain entrance.

“All the crews at the scene made a valiant effort to gain entry to that building,” said Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Farrell on Thursday. “It’s disheartening for all of us.”

Farrell said firefighters had found only one smoke alarm, in the basement, and it did not have a battery.

The names of the deceased man and woman are being withheld until relatives are notified.

Police and firefighters were alerted at 2:35 p.m. to smoke coming from 30 Lawrence St., Farrell said. On arrival, they found a passerby had already entered the first-floor apartment. He had found no one there. Firefighters then tried to enter the second-floor apartment, Farrell said.

“Due to heavy smoke and high heat, and (because we were) not certain as to the structural integrity of the building, we could not make it much beyond the rear entry,” Farrell said.

From the outside, firefighters were able to get to the front bedroom window, but heavy smoke obscured the view, Farrell continued, and they did not see anyone.

At about 4:30 p.m., they entered the bedroom, where they found a woman, dead.

The first-floor tenant, who had arrived after receiving a call about the fire, told firefighters the man upstairs usually slept during the day after working a night shift. By about 5 p.m., after continuing to fight the fire, firefighters entered the living room and found the man, Farrell said.