Friday afternoon fire damages Katama house

The fire appeared to start in landscaping mulch and climbed quickly up the side of the vacant wood frame house.

Michael Cummo

Fire caused heavy damage to a house at 5 Dune Road in the Katama section of Edgartown Friday afternoon. Edgartown police and firefighters found the front of the building in flames when they arrived, shortly before 2 pm. The home was vacant at the time of the fire. There were no injuries.

Edgartown fire chief Peter Shemeth told The Times it appeared the fire started in landscaping mulch near the wooden landing leading to the front door of the 2.5 story wood frame building. He said the flames spread quickly up the exterior of the home.

“Everything is so powder dry right now, and the wind was going right toward the building,” Chief Shemeth said.

The Edgartown fire department responded with four trucks. The Oak Bluffs fire department was called to provide mutual aid and cover stations in Edgartown.

“It’s a hard day personnel wise,” Chief Shemeth said as the volunteer firefighters finished packing up equipment. “All these guys were working somewhere.”

Though the front of the structure was charred and smoldering from ground to roof, the interior of the home was mostly undamaged, except for smoke damage, according to Chief Shemeth.

Edgartown police were trying to locate and contact the owner.