Monday, April 09, 2007

Danvers Asylum fire empties new apartments

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may remember we are also interested in other weird New England sites, including the old Danvers Lunatic Asylum in Danver, Massachusetts.

The New England Anomaly mailing list alerted me this morning to a report on Boston WCVB-TV about a four-alarm fire at the Danvers facility, now partway through its conversion into apartments and condominiums.
Spectacular Fire Damages Former Mental Hospital
Firefighters Battled Flames In Cold

BOSTON -- A massive four alarm fire at the former Danvers State Mental Hospital lit up the night sky and forced a number of residents from their homes overnight Saturday.

Flames shot up hundreds of feet in the air and could be seen for miles after the blaze began at about 1:30 a.m.
The hospital has been closed for years, but the buildings were in the process of being developed into condominiums and apartments.

Officials say eight buildings were destroyed, including four unfinished apartment buildings and four utility buildings. State police evacuated residents living in new apartments on the property as a precaution and closed nearby Route 1. Some firefighters suffered minor burns because of the intensity of the flames, the Danvers Fire Department said.

The hospital was built in 1878 and closed to patients in 1992. In 2005, the property was sold to Avalon Bay Development which is building 497 apartments and condominiums on the 77 acre site. Fire crews were expected to stay at the scene through Saturday to watch for hot spots. The cause of the fire wasn’t immediately known.



Rich said...

Sounds a bit suspicious to me. Do you think maybe a former patient came back for revenge?

Michelle said...

Rich-- There is speculation that it has something to do with the asylum's past residents, either in corporeal or spiritous form, but I tend more towards the young-revolutionary-pissed-off-at-the-developers theory.

SaVeThEAsYluMs said...

good i hope it burns to the damn ground. they deserve it for tearing down such an amazing structure