LYNN (CBS) – A mother and son were killed in a house fire in Lynn Saturday morning.
The fire, at 15 McKinley Terrace, broke out sometime before 5:30 a.m. and quickly consumed the top floor of the two story home.
Three people did manage to escape from the burning house through a basement window. Investigators have not identified the victims but say an extended family lived in the home.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Kim Tunnicliffe reports
Neighbors say a mother and her adult son were killed. The son was reportedly attempting to rescue his mother, who had recently undergone hip surgery.
Emergency responders found the victims on the second floor of the house, one lying on top of the other. Lynn’s Fire Chief says the flames were so intense that the heat even overwhelmed crews in full fire gear.
“Unfortunately for the people in the building, it wouldn’t have even been the smoke [that affected them],” said Chief Dennis Carmody. “It would have been the heat that would have knocked them down.”
Some 35 firefighters responded to the scene. A number neighbors wandered outside the home Saturday, distraught for the family.
Witnesses tell WBZ-TV that a neighbor who first spotted the flames pounded on the front door of the home trying to alert the family inside.
The family reportedly has lived at the home on McKinley Terrace for generations.
“It doesn’t surprise me [that neighbors tried to help]. Not here. It’s a good neighborhood,” said Georgeann Carroca. “We’ve lived on this street for 15 years so everybody is really close. Everybody does what we can for our neighbors.”
Five ferrets and a cat also survived. The Red Cross says their crews are helping a mother and two teenagers displaced by the fire. Red Cross will be offering emergency temporary shelter and emergency funds for food and clothing.
The State Police, State Fire Marshal, and the Essex District Attorney’s office are working together on the case. A cause has not yet been determined.
Investigators were unsure if fire alarms in the home were working at the time. State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said that he hopes the tragedy does some good by reminding the public of Fire Prevention Week which begins Sunday.
“I’m hoping (WBZ-TV) viewers will take a few moments this week, in light of this tragedy in particular, to make sure their smoke alarms are working and working properly,” said Coan.
The State Fire Marshal also encourages the public to have two exit routes from each part of their home and a designated place to meet family members in the event of a fire.