The Nantucket Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 15 Polliwog Pond Road Thursday morning. Fire chief Michael Cranson said that upon entry into the house the living room was on fire and the entire home was filled with heavy smoke.
“There was a tremendous amount of damage in the home," Cranson told the Current. "The call came in from the passerby who saw some flames coming out of the window. We showed up, went into the house, and the living room was on fire – a couch, a recliner, and another chair all were burning pretty significantly. So they extinguished that part of it and we actually removed that furniture from the house. Then we checked the rest of the house because we weren’t sure if anybody was in the home - so we had to do a quick search of the basement, first floor, and second floor."
The house is the Methodist Church parsonage and was being rented to Lemon Press for staff housing. Six of the restaurant’s employees lived there, and are now without a place to live for the foreseeable future.
These six individuals will be in need of housing for the next few weeks before a permanent alternative is available. If anyone has housing availability for some or all of the displaced staff, please contact Darya Gault at 774-312-1949.
As for the fire, all NFD personnel were asked to respond to the station to assist in extinguishing the fire. Over a dozen NFD personnel were on the scene including Cranson and deputy chief Sean Mitchell.
There were three engines on scene as well as several NPD members to monitor traffic flow. National Grid was also called to the scene and Cranson said they had power to the home shut down.
"Then it was a matter of ventilating the house and trying to figure out what happened," Cranson said. "We still don’t know what exactly happened but our fire prevention guys are working to find a cause. All we know is that it started in the living room.”
A swift response kept the fire contained. When the call came in, the NFD had been in the middle of training their call firefighters and also had a training session going on for the department's full-time firefighters.
"So we had like a dozen firefighters at the station when the call came in," Cranson said. "So as far as timing goes it worked out wonderfully. We were able to have at least seven call people who responded to this scene."
The home also had broken windows visible from the front of the property as well as a damaged front door.
"The living room has been pretty much destroyed and there is smoke damage throughout the entire house," Cranson added.