BOSTON (CBS) – Two firefighters were injured after responding to a home on Allen Street in Worcester just days after losing a colleague in a similar fire. One had a back injury and the second had an ankle injury, said Deputy Fire Chief Martin Dyer.
“Heavy fire” was showing on arrival after firefighters responded to the 4:55 a.m. call Wednesday.
“Crews made a very quick entry onto the second floor where they saw the main body of fire. They quickly hit the fire,” said Dyer. “Unfortunately, we encountered a frozen hydrant which slowed the entire operation down. We had to back out of the building. ”
Along with the frozen hydrant, firefighters struggled with ladder placement because of the home’s positioning. “It’s a very tough morning. You look at with the cold, the access, the lack of water, makes it very, very tough to do this job,” said Dyer.
Fourteen people have been displaced.
“It’s a very, very stubborn building… the fire is in the walls and it’s into the attic,” said Dyer.
Neighbor Cheyenne Drayton saw it all. “They were shooting water, like so much water, and it wasn’t helping. I could they were really trying so hard because they did not give up,” she said. “I didn’t think anybody was going to make it out of the house that’s how horrible and crazy it looked.”
One man who made it out said he was “just glad that I’m alive. That’s the only thing that matters right now.” He was able to retrieve a damaged I.D. and passport, but not much else.
The fire comes just days after Firefighter Christopher Roy died while battling a house fire on Sunday. Firefighters from Roy’s Ladder 4 responded to Wednesday’s fire. The two were about a mile from one another.
“Once the three tone struck our firefighters went straight to work, all bad thoughts and whatnot went out of their head and they came in and they did best job they could,” Dyer said.
The landlord who owns this building says because of surveillance footage, he believes his tenants waited too long to call 911 and that if they had called sooner, there might be less damage. The cause is still under investigation.