As I shuffled down Pine Street shortly after 5 am on this morning’s run, two Lowell Fire trucks came racing up from Cupples Square, their sirens and air horns screaming. They both turned in front of me onto Hawthorn Street (yes, there’s no “e” at the end). As I continued on, I could hear more sirens in the distance and also noted that no cars were parked outside the Pine Street Fire Station, a sure indicator that facility was closed overnight for staffing reasons. I turned onto Stevens and headed towards Chelmsford. Passing St Margarets Church, I began smelling smoke, so I turned onto Parker and immediately saw a police cruiser blocking the road a hundred yards away.
It was a house fire at 385 Parker. No flames were visible, but black smoke was streaming out of an upstairs window. Four Lowell Fire trucks were on the scene; some firefighters were already inside, others were suiting up to head inside, still others were connecting a hose to the nearby hydrant. An ambulance attendant led a young woman by the arm away from the house, holding an oxygen mask over her face. Through the open window and door, a chirping smoke alarm was audible and the glow of flashlights could be seen through second story windows as firefighters conducted their search. Neighbors in all manner of dress stood on nearby sidewalks, watching with concern. Fortunately, no one seemed to be seriously injured and the damage appeared to be mostly from smoke. Still it was a reminder of the importance of smoke detectors and fire safety.