WHITMAN (CBS) – At least 12 people, including children, were forced out into the cold after an apartment building went up in flames fueled by fireworks in Whitman Wednesday night.
Six families lived in the multi-family house on Commercial Street. Everyone managed to get out. Firefighters from 15 towns were needed to put out the fire.
When they arrived, flames were already shooting out of a second floor window.
Scott Hunter could only watch as he lost his home. “We just lost everything, I’ve been here since 2004,” he told WBZ-TV.
When Hunter realized something was wrong he rushed to save his nephew.
“I heard and I smelled something so I went right for him first, he’s only two years old,” Hunter said.
Lynn Rivard spoke with a woman who lived there. “The electricity went out and then she said she heard a pop,” Rivard said.
Firefighters say the more than 100-year-old house went up quickly. As much water as they put on, the fire kept burning.
Whitman Deputy Chief Joe Feeney said the biggest challenges were water supply, the age of the house and fireworks that were inside.
The fireworks did ignite, but no one was hurt. Damage is estimated at more than $1 million.
It’s not clear yet what caused the fire, but investigators said it is not considered suspicious.
“Just heartbroken, you know, it just happened so quick,” said Hunter.