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Published: September 19, 2008 05:14 am ShareThisPrintThis
Off-duty cop helps quell house fire
By Bruno Matarazzo Jr.
Staff Writer

PEABODY - An off-duty police officer jumped into action last night after he saw flames shooting from the rear of his neighbor's house.
Rick Heath, a Peabody patrolman, said he ran over to the two-family home two buildings down from his own Margin Street home and had everyone evacuated.
But once everyone was out of the house at 29 Margin St., a mother went back in to try and put out the fire herself with pots full of water.
Heath, who could hear the wail of the sirens coming, grabbed more water and got to work with the woman, trying to douse the blaze.
"The mother and I started beating it down 'til the Fire Department arrived," Heath said.
Firefighters quickly appeared at the scene and knocked down the rest of the fire.
The fire caused damage to the rear of the home, and Peabody fire investigators were called to the scene to examine the cause.
Peabody Deputy fire Chief James Coughlin said the fire may have been sparked by a defective outside light.
The fire caused only exterior damage to the home.
Heath was injured when he slipped on the wet steps on the back deck as he ran to the front of the home to signal approaching police and fire vehicles. He was checked out by paramedics at the scene, and he said he'll be fine
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