Potential catastrophe averted in Presidential Heights fire

27 Aug

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher


More details will emerge here, but The Eye has learned that the fire at 13 Madison Ave in West Peabody last night was no ordinary garage fire. Turns out that the owner of the property was likely storing a large amount of chemicals in the structure as part of a swimming pool service company.


The fire caused a strong odor, and a series of small, but frightening explosions before the Peabody Fire Department arrived.


Were it not for an outstanding job by the PFD, this could have spread to nearby homes, resulted in major property loss, and perhaps injuries to residents living in this Presidential Heights neighborhood.


“You could see the black smoke and the smell was really bad,” a neighborhood resident told us this morning. “There were a few explosions as well. It was very frightening.”


According to city records, the property is owned by Joseph Carpenito, who also owns Pools Unlimited. On its website, the company lists 13 Madison Ave as its office.

Below is a Google Earth image that shows the location. Note the close proximity of other homes. The large garage that burned is to the back right of the property.


8 Responses to “Potential catastrophe averted in Presidential Heights fire”

  1. Anonymous August 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Perfect example of one of my biggest gripes about Peabody. Residential zoned area’s are meant to be zoned for residences, not for commercial enterprises that store hazardous chemicals or landscaping & construction companies where they store commercial equipment. I think the city has become way too lax on enforcing zoning laws and I would hope this incident will force them to take a stronger approach.

    While I can appreciate your take on the All-Pro landscaping / Latitudes issue, part of me is supportive of the fact that as a company they realized they needed commercial space to operate their business. Wish more Peabody-based landscapers & construction companies would take a similar approach rather than burdening their neighborhoods with commercial construction equipment.

    • Give me a break August 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      Ya. Right. Did you know that All-Pro operated in a residential neighborhood on Johnson Street for years? Give me a break. All Pro moved to another location only because it needed more room. Gamache looked the other way for years while his buddy ran that business right in the neghborhood.

    • Anonymous August 28, 2014 at 9:30 am #

      Hey there “Eye on Peabody”. Several “potential catastrophes” have been averted in the last several weeks by the PFD. One fire is not any more dangerous to firefighters than another.

      • Bob Croce August 28, 2014 at 9:40 am #

        Very true, and thank God we have such an outstanding fire department. But I don’t get your point. Certainly no one insulted the PFD here. The fact is, this particular fire was more dangerous to the surrounding residents because of the existence of explosive chemicals

  2. Buddy August 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    Guess your buddy Sinewitz didn’t do his job here. You pick on Saslaw non stop., How about Barry? Double standard?

    • Bob Croce August 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

      I’m happy you brought that up, Buddy. I called Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz this morning. He wasn’t aware that there was a business with flammable chemicals operating at 13 Madison. It’s a big ward, and if no one calls him to complain, it’s hard for him to know what’s going on in every single home.

      But he did respond to my call like any good ward councilor would. He told me he was immediately calling the building inspector to see if they knew anything about this business. He also planned to check the fire investigators report on the fire. Now that he is aware, I have full faith and confidence that the Ward 6 Councilor will do what he can to ensure that this business doesn’t continue operating in that residential neighborhood.

      I think that’s a little different from your buddy the Ward 5 Councilor, who knows of out-of-compliance businesses in his ward, and most times simply looks the other way while potentially putting the safety and property rights of residents in jeopardy.

  3. Just Thinking August 27, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Would anyone know if the business is registered down at the City Clerk’s office? Any permits required for operation/ storage? How about required insurance? The State does have the Right to Know law don’t we? Looks like some possible violations.

  4. Just Thinking August 29, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Ward 6 Councilor, Barry Sinewitz, brought up this fire at the city council meeting last night. He requested info from the Peabody Fire Dept. about haz. chemicals in residential neighborhoods. Finally a city councilor serving the public and not himself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: