A man who had been helping other individuals escape from a burning home in Dorchester was critically burned during his efforts to alert those living in the floors above his apartment. The man, who has yet to be identified, had been living on the first floor of a triple-decker home in Dorchester when the fire broke out early Wednesday morning.
According to preliminary reports, the fire started at approximately 4:00 AM at the home located on Ridgewood Street. Firefighters responding to the scene have stated that 15 people, including 7 children, were present in the home when the fire raged on in the middle of the night. All of the residents escaped from the building unharmed, and they have their neighbor to thank in part for that fact.
The man had been staying in an apartment on the first floor of the triple-decker home following a fire that had damaged his previous residence. The exact details surrounding the matter have not yet been disclosed, but officials responding on scene have indicated that they believe the fire started on the first floor. Although they are unsure at this time what could have directly caused the fire to start. District Fire Chief Jeff Whitman spoke to reporters and stated that “With this type of weather, with windows being open still, the fire can travel in or out very quickly.” He indicated that he believed the fire began either on the first floor porch or somewhere inside the first floor apartments.
A friend of the man credited with alerting other residents of the ongoing fire has said that the man had to break windows to get out of his apartment due to the massive amount of flames. The friend went on to say that it was at this time that the man traveled to the second and third floor of the triple-decker home to alert the others of the fire and to help them flee the building. Reports have indicated that the man was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital with respiratory problems as well as extensive burns to his hands and face. He was listed in critical condition following his admittance to the hospital. An additional update on his condition has not been made available at this time.
A resident of the building, Murienne Edouard, told reporters that the fire had started out small and continued to grow rapidly from there. She said that amidst the chaos she could hear a woman crying out in Spanish for someone to help her. There have been no reported injuries to the residents aside from the man on the first floor who sustained burns trying to help evacuate the premises. Reports have indicated however that a fireman responding to the scene suffered a back injury and was taken to the hospital. The extent of his injury was not provided in the original article.
Photos indicate that the home has been almost completely ruined. The residents of the Ridgewood Street home have a long road to travel down as a result of this horrible fire. Murienne Edouard said that she is still afraid, even hours later. “I’m still shaking right now. They will need to salvage what possibly remains and rebuild their lives from scratch. They are all thankful, however, that they were fortunate enough to escape this fire alive.
Additional quotes and information may be found at the following link: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/09/16/man-critically-hurt-in-dorchester-house-fire/