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Firefighters battle blaze at Emerson Place

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Five families were at least temporarily displaced Saturday night by a fire at Emerson Place that started in a basement dryer.

However, Gary C. Beasley, executive director of Neighbors of Watertown, said improvements made after his non-profit agency refurbished the building in 2003 helped keep the blaze from spreading throughout the 11-apartment complex.

“It could have been a heck of a lot worse,” Mr. Beasley said.

Watertown firefighters were called to 23 Emerson Place at around 7:15 p.m., and emergency officials were able to clear all the apartments without incident.

“The fire department responded very quickly,” Mr. Beasley said.

The blaze started in the dryer in a basement in Apt. 23 and spread into the first-floor kitchen area before being contained by firefighters, he said.

“That will all have to be rebuilt,” Mr. Beasley said.

The tenant was home at the time but was able to escape the burning apartment, he said.

The two adjacent apartments also sustained some smoke and water damage, Mr. Beasley said.

Attics throughout the row building used to be connected, but the Neighbors project included fire walls separating the entire apartments, including the attics, he said.

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