SOUTHBRIDGE (CBS) — Fire officials are looking into what caused two separate building fires in Southbridge that occurred within hours of each other.
Firefighters knocked down a 6-alarm fire that broke out in downtown Southbridge Sunday afternoon.
The fire broke out around 2p.m. in a two-story building that houses businesses and apartments.
“It just got out of control, the back was on fire, the fire started to spread throughout the building, the rafters caught fire and they just lost control of the fire,” said Southbridge resident Steve Dellier.
The Sturbridge Fire Department was called in to help.
Firefighters rescued one person from the building, but no one was hurt in the blaze. More than a dozen people who live in the top floor apartments have been displaced. Businesses were also ruined, including a thrift shop.
“All the toys are good because we had just gotten about a thousand dollars worth of toys to go towards Christmas for toys for tots,” said shop manager Karen Lloyd. “These guys started pulling them out when it happened but they’re all good.”
But not everyone was that fortunate.
“My hairdressers right down on the bottom floor,” said one resident. “They lost everything, its a shame, they just did everything over. I saw them earlier and gave them a hug, they were crying, I feel so bad for them.”
Hours later, a second fire broke out at a home on Benefit Street only a few miles away.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials are not ruling out arson.
“Here in Southbridge a couple of years ago we did have an arsonist who was lighting multiple buildings on fire at that time,” said Southbridge Fire Chief Mark Difronzo. “I don’t know if that’s happening today, that’s why we will use all of the assets that the state has to help us figure some of these things out to see if there is some common threads or if there aren’t any.”
“It’s not common to get two fires in the same night,” said Difranzo.