AVON (CBS) — A father and son have died following a house fire in Avon on Christmas night.
Crews responded to a Freeman Street home at about 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, where they were met with heavy flames in the back of the home. Over an hour later, smoke could still be seen pouring out of the windows and front door.
Firefighters rescued Louis Orelus, 70, but he later died at a local hospital. His 28-year-old son Vladmir Orelus died in the fire while a child suffered burns. The younger Orelus was studying to be a dentist.
The grieving family says Vlad died a hero. After he got his own family out of the fire, he ran back inside to try and save his dad who had trouble walking ever since he suffered a stroke.
Vlad’s mother says his wife pleaded with him not to go back in
“His wife begged him to not go back inside,” said Marie Jacette Scialdone. “That’s like killing her now because she said I been telling him don’t go, please don’t go, the fire’s too harsh don’t go and he went in anyway and he didn’t make it.”
The only smoke alarm found in the house had no batteries, the state fire marshal said.
“We have no idea how the fire started or what they were doing at the time, we had to go in and get them out of the house,” Fire Chief Robert Spurr said. “We [arrived] with only a couple people but they did a great job trying to get in, rescue anybody that was in there. It was a matter of getting water supply.”
Spurr also said a locked door gave firefighters difficulty, and when firefighters got the door down, they were met with heavy fire.
Family members rushed to the home after hearing what happened. Several were visibly upset.
A man standing outside the damaged home said his father-in-law lived there. “I beat two fire departments here and I don’t know what to say, nothing is being done,” he said, adding that anybody inside could have been asleep after celebrating Christmas.
Church members said the father and son were originally from Haiti. Louis Orelus ran a store in Brockton well known by the Haitian community.
“We loved them so much,” Mary J. Voltaire said. “This is the season that people are celebrating and they died, so we are very sorry.”
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but it’s believed to be accidental. Brockton, Randolph, Stoughton, Holbrook, Abington, Sharon, and Canton fire departments assisted in the response.