Fire damages two houses, destroys vehicle

No one was injured when four people escaped fires that extensively damaged their adjacent Edgewood Avenue bungalows on July 2.

The alarm was turned in at 8:40 p.m.

When firefighters arrived they discovered the two homes, located at 8 and 10 Edgewood Ave., and a Saturn sports utility vehicle on fire, Capt. John Matthews, Amherst Fire Department spokesman, said.

The fire started in the backseat of the SUV. Due to the SUV’s close proximity to both houses, the sides of the homes ignited. The fire then “progressed quite quickly” into the attics of each house, Matthews said.Edgewood fire 5B

"The homes are inhabitable,” Matthews said, adding the residents escaped quickly, but firefighters rescued two cats from inside one of the burning houses. The cats were wet, but otherwise unharmed.

The van was a total loss.

The Red Cross was on the scene. They arranged for emergency lodging and food for a man displaced from one home. They also provided minor support to three adults from the second home.

Fifty-four firefighters fought the blaze. One of them was taken to hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion. The temperature in Amherst when the humidex was factored in was above 30 C for most of Monday.

Edgewood fire 3B

An Amhest firefighter pokes his head out a window while fighting a fire on Edgewood Avenue in Amherst on July 2.

Edgewood fire 1B

Amherst firefighter pour foam onto the side of one of two bungalows that caught fire on Edgewood Avenue in Amherst on July 2.