Salem firefighters extinguished a fire early Sunday morning that broke out on the third floor of an apartment building on Lafayette Street and left the building too damaged for residents to stay in.
At about 4:15 a.m., firefighters responded to 187 Lafayette St. after receiving word that there was a "burning smell" coming from the third floor, according to the department's Public Information Officer, John Roth.
It took the first group of firefighters to arrive on scene approximately 15 minutes to knock down the fire, which extended up into the attic, Roth said.
The three-story apartment building suffered severe smoke and water damage and "a lot of the walls had to be opened" while fighting the fire, Roth said.
American Red Cross volunteers assisted a family of three displaced by the fire. They were reportedly the only tenants of the three-family home.
The Red Cross reportedly provided emergency temporary shelter - a hotel stay, and emergency funds for food, clothing and seasonal garments. Volunteers also provided the family with blankets and Comfort Kits, which include items like toiletries.
Although the cause of the fire remains under investigation, Roth did say it appeared to have started near one of the building's electrical panels.
Salem Patch will be posting additional information as it becomes available.
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