Rather graphic video above by Lowell Sun reporter Rob Mills of firefighters trying to remove a man as flames engulf an apartment.
Two men were killed and at least six other people were hurt in an early morning fire in Lowell, Massachuestts. Here are details from Boston Globe article by Stewart Bishop:
About 4 a.m., a fire broke out in a four-story apartment building on Bridge Street, said Deputy Chief Robert Flynn. Firefighters from Lowell, Chelmsford and Tewksbury responded to the four-alarm blaze in the brick structure, which had 15 apartments and an estimated 20 residents, Flynn said.
Firefighters found a 23-year-old man dead at the scene. He was not immediately identified. A second man was found dead about 1 p.m. as investigators combed through the rubble on the fourth floor.
A third man was critically injured after he jumped from the fourth floor of the building to escape the flames, Flynn said. That man was taken by medical helicopter to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, officials said.
Meanwhile, firefighters knew a man was still trapped on the fourth floor, and even though flames were quickly engulfing the entire fourth floor, men from Ladder 3, Engine 6 and Engine 7 entered the fourth floor through a window to find that man.
Donnelly was forced to order them out of the building as it became apparent that the roof was going to collapse, but even after loud blasts of fire engine horns warned those firefighters to get out of the building, they determinedly appeared at the window they had gone in, with the body of a man being dragged behind them.
They struggled to get him out a window and over a railing, but were never able to do so before flames began shooting out of the window 10 to 15 feet in the air, forcing them back.
Those firefighters were then nearly trapped on the metal balcony, four stories up, as flames poured from the windows just feet from their backs, choking them with smoke and heat.
Video above from Lowell Sun reporter Rob Mills.
Lowell Deputy Fire Chief Mike Donnelly said, “The fire condition for the guys up on the fourth floor where they were trying to get the victims was very, very intense. There was fire blowing out of four windows.”
Deputy Chief Donnelly says when they got around the back of the building, there was actually a man climbing out of one of those top story windows. But before they could get to him, he jumped.
“Literally just as one of our guys reached him he let go,” Donnelly said he, “couldn’t hold on, the smoke condition was too intense.”