Mansion blaze started by chimney fire, investigators say

CONCORD, Mass. (AP) — Investigators have determined that a blaze that burned down a mansion in the Boston suburbs was caused by an accidental chimney fire.

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The fire spread from the chimney through an opening in the mortar, officials said in a joint statement Monday.

Concord Fire Chief Thomas Judge said the residents of the 6,500-square-foot Concord home were using the fireplace correctly. He called the fire a “tragic accident."

A caretaker reported the fire around 9:30 a.m. Friday. Firefighters struggled to get enough water to the house because of its remote location, and the fire quickly spread.

The homeowners were away when the fire started, and no injuries were reported.

The home was built in 1897, had five bedrooms and five bathrooms, and was valued at nearly $3 million, town records show. Fire officials could not estimate the cost of the damage, but described the building as a “total loss.”

Concord was the site of Revolutionary War battles and a 19th-century literary community that included Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.