Early Tuesday morning, around 2:30 a.m., a fire broke out at 77 Merrifield St. in Worcester, Mass. Flames emerged from the windows and residents were trapped inside, according to reports from Deputy Fire Chief Adam Roche.
Police were the first to arrive at the scene, and had called for the fire department to “step it up” over radio. This was supposedly because there were “people trapped on every floor.”
According to Deputy Chief Roche, local firefighters were able to rescue seven residents living inside the apartment complex, including two young children. Four were able to successfully climb down from the second floor using ladders, and three others were rescued from the third floor via aerial ladders. All were taken to the hospital for further health evaluations.
The fire damaged all three floors of the building, which had eight apartments in total. Following an inspection by the Worcester Building Department, the building has been condemned. Fourteen people have been displaced as a result of the fire and have received aid from the Red Cross following the outbreak.
Throughout the day, neighbors gathered and surrounded 77 Merrifield St. to take a better look at the damage. Margarita Rivera , who lives at 73 Merrifield St., captured a video of the fire. The video shows the flames as they poured out from the first floor of the building. These two apartment buildings are within 10 feet of each other, and while the heat from the fire at 77 Merrifield St. managed to melt some of the siding on 73 Merrifield St., it did not otherwise damage the building.
Firefighters were able to reach the scene of the fire quickly, and prevented it from spreading to nearby buildings in time. Firefighters believe the fire first broke out on the middle floor of the complex, but are not certain. Investigation is still underway as a cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Amber LaBonte, a sophomore, studies English. She is a Copy Editor for Le Provocateur.