TAUNTON (CBS) – A man was found dead after a fire at a home in Taunton overnight.
Bristol County District Attorney’s Office has identified the man as 54-year-old Robert Botellio.
Firefighters were called to a three-family house on Washington Street around 11 p.m. Tuesday and when they arrived there were flames shooting through the roof.
“They kicked in the door and started evacuating people,” said Fire Chief Tim Bradshaw.
Eight people, including two children, escaped safely, but firefighters later found Botellio, who was a resident of the third floor, dead at the back door.
Sarah Lawson’s son is friends with the two boys who live in the home. She said their mother called Tuesday night in a panic.
“When I saw her last night, it was just ‘get the boys out of there,’ she was just so caught off guard by it. They didn’t know what was going on.”
Lawson said, “They have nothing. The boys didn’t have any shoes or socks or anything last night.”
She added that they were close with Botellio.
“We kept them all home from school today because that’s where the bus stop is so we kept them home from school today just so they wouldn’t have to see what was going on before we could explain to them,” Lawson said.
Crews spent all night and into the morning putting out hot spots and cleaning up.
Bradshaw said, “Whenever you fight fires in the winter between ice and the actual elements and the beating that the guys take it always makes it difficult.”
While firefighters know the fire started on the third floor. The exact cause is still under investigation.