UPDATE: A third alarm has now been struck for the fire in the North End. The story has been updated to reflect the change.

NEW BEDFORD — Firefighters in New Bedford are currently battling a three-alarm fire at an apartment building in the North End, with traffic backups likely in the area.

A structure fire was reported at 1168 Acushnet Ave. at the corner of Beetle Street at around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Unconfirmed scanner reports indicate that visible flames were showing and a second alarm struck as crews arrived at the scene within minutes.

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It is unclear if any residents were in the building at the time.

As of 10:20 a.m., New Bedford firefighters continue to fight the flames, with mutual aid being provided by Fairhaven and Dartmouth fire departments.

This is a developing story and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

Thanksgiving and the day before Thanksgiving are peak days for home fires, along with Christmas and Christmas Eve, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Holiday fire safety tips shared by local fire departments include never leaving anything to cook unattended, keeping anything that can catch fire away from stovetops, and covering pans for grease fires.

The use of deep fryers for cooking turkeys is also discouraged, but if used, they should be kept outdoors on a flat surface and at least 10 feet away from all structures, including porches.

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