WORCESTER (CBS) – The investigation into what caused a fire that led to the death of a Worcester firefighter is shifting to the building’s owner, who has been under scrutiny for years.
WBZ-TV has obtained court papers detailing a number health and safety violations at the apartment building that burned early Thursday morning on Arlington Street in Worcester. Firefighter Jon Davies was killed Thursday when the burning building partially collapsed.
Violations include damaged walls, cracks in the foundation, rotten railings and mice droppings.
WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.
The owner of the building, Jean Mui of Newton, owns at least two other buildings in the city. WBZ-TV has been unable to reach her for comment.
On Thursday morning, despite warning alarms to get out of the burning building, Davies and his partner Brian Carroll went back in after they heard someone might be inside.
When the building partially collapsed, they were trapped for an hour. Fellow firefighters pulled them out of the rubble, but Davies did not survive.
Carroll was released from the hospital and returned home Friday evening.
State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said that crews plan to “de-layer” the back of the building in an effort to determine the cause of the fire, and also look for the male resident Davies and Carroll initially went in to save. Coan said the man may still be trapped in the building or may have fled the scene after escaping the fire.
“All potential causes remain on the table. We have not eliminated any, whether they be accidental or whether they be deliberate,” said Coan, who added that crews need to be wary of the building’s structural integrity during the de-layering.
Davies, a 17-year veteran of the department, leaves behind three sons and he was reportedly engaged to be married on New Year’s Eve.
The fire is reopening a painful wound for the city. Back in December 1999, six firefighters died responding to a fire at the cold storage warehouse. Davies was one of the many crews at the scene that day.