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Firefighter Dies Battling Peabody Apartment Fire

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Peabody firefighter James Rice.

Peabody firefighter James Rice.

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PEABODY (CBS) – A Peabody firefighter has died after battling a fire at a multi-family home on Hancock Street.

Peabody Fire Chief Steven Pasdon says James Rice, an 11-year veteran, succumbed to injuries suffered while fighting the blaze.

Pasdon says the 46-year-old was between the first and second floors of the building when he was injured. He says Rice was immediately worked on by paramedics and fire crews.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

“As a Fire Chief I have 100 firefighters that work under me and with me, and I can say that Firefighter James Rice was liked and loved by everybody,” says Pasdon. “He was a popular firefighter and he was also a popular man in the community.”

Rice leaves behind a wife and three children.

peabody2 Firefighter Dies Battling Peabody Apartment Fire

(Photo from Karen Creets)

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan says an investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

At least 13 people were living in the building at the time. They all escaped without injury.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports

The three-alarm fire started just after 1:30 p.m.

The tragedy comes two weeks after a Worcester firefighter died in the line of duty. Jon Davies and his partner rushed into a burning home believing someone was trapped inside.

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