May 14. 2013 5:15PM

Family cat revived after Salem blaze

Union Leader Correspondent

Firefighters from several communities battled this Salem cottage fire on Atkinson Road. (COURTESY)

SALEM - An afternoon house fire left a Salem residence heavily damaged Tuesday afternoon.

The Salem Fire Department received a call from a neighbor at 2:38 on Tuesday, reporting heavy smoke coming from a one-story home at 20 Atkinson Road, assistant fire chief Paul Parisi said.

A fleet of Salem fire vehicles, including two engines, a ladder truck, an ambulance and a heavy-rescue vehicle arrived on the scene within minutes, with crews from Windham, Derry and Methuen, Mass., assisting in an aggressive interior attack.

Heavy smoke filled the 20-by-20-foot cottage, though firefighters were able to pull the resident housecat from the building and revived the animal after it had lost consciousness from smoke inhalation.

The homeowners weren't present when the fire broke out, Parisi said, and the fire was under control within an hour.

However, the structure was left uninhabitable after the fire, sustaining heavy smoke damage throughout. "I'd say the whole place is pretty unlivable right now," Parisi said, noting that the local Red Cross Chapter has been contacted to assist the occupants with food, clothing and lodging, if necessary.

The cause of the fire is currently being investigated.