Methuen fire that claimed 2 lives deemed not suspicious


METHUEN, Mass. ( -- The Methuen fire that claimed the lives of a couple and their dog Wednesday was not suspicious.

Officials say the cause of the deadly fire at 22 Buttonwood Dr. "will remain undetermined, but does not appear suspicious."

The victims were identified as 82-year-old James McDermott and his 79-year-old wife, Thelma.

It took crews over an hour to get the fire under control. Once firefighters were able to enter the home, they found the victims. One victim was in the foyer and the other was in an upstairs bathroom. Officials said it appeared the couple was trying to get out of the home.

The fire marshal said that there weren't any working smoke detectors in the home.

Methuen Fire Chief Stephen Buote said, "We extend our condolences to the family and friends of these victims. A fatal fire is difficult not only for them but for the community as a whole."