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Salem home destroyed in early morning fire

SALEM — An early-morning fire completely destroyed a Webster Street home Saturday while the family was away, according to officials.

Capt. Tim Kenney said the two-and-a-half story house at 7 Webster Street was a &#';complete loss.&#'; And he said the family of five also suffered a &#';significant loss of personal items.&#';

The fire was reported at 4:35 a.m. and when the first engine arrived on the scene three minutes later, &#';There was fire coming out of every opening in the house,&#'; Kenney said.

Fortunately, no one was home, he said. &#';The parents were away and the kids were off at a babysitter's being taken care of.&#'; Two family dogs were also being boarded at a kennel.

Kenney said the fire apparently started in a rear patio area. He said the house is &#';a stone's throw&#'; from a fire that started in a vacant building a week ago.
Neighbors who met the firefighters as they arrived told them a couple and their three children live there, Kenney said. But there were no cars in the driveway and it was quickly determined that no one was home.

Kenney said the fire marshal and police are investigating, and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. An excavator was used to tear down part of the house so firefighters could completely extinguish the flames.

The American Red Cross was assisting at the fire scene Saturday morning.

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