A three alarm fire Thursday afternoon at the Beverly Garden Suites, also known as the Lakeview Motor Lodge, in North Beverly damaged several units.
Nobody was injured.
The motel is located at the corner of Lakeview Avenue and Enon Street, across from the North Beverly train station on Route 1A.
Beverly Fire Chief Paul Cotter said at the scene that a plumber was working in an unit on the first floor when a torch he was using caught some materials on fire. The fire then spread to adjacent units and units above, he said.
A person staying upstairs noticed the smoke and called 911 at about 1:15 p.m. The guests in that room, two photographers from Philadelphia who were in the city to shoot senior photos at Endicott College, were uninjured. They got outside and were loaned a winter coat by a neighbor to keep warm.
In all, nine of the motel's 23 units were damaged in the fire. Firefighters had to pull down ceilings and cut through roof to vent it, Cotter said, but otherwise the motel suffered mostly water damage.
The fire drew crews from at least seven North Shore communities, including Danvers, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Peabody, Salem, Swampscott, Topsfield and Wenham.
The fire was declared under control at about 2 p.m.
Route 1A (Enon Street) past the fire scene was down to one lane for about an hour and a half. Southbound traffic was allowed past the fire, and northbound traffic was being directed by Beverly Police to turn up Dodge Street from the Enon Street intersection at Nick's Roast Beef. The detour caused heavy congestion in North Beverly.