WORCESTER (CBS) – Multiple people were rescued and seven residents were hospitalized following a fire at a multi-family Worcester home.
Flames broke out on Merrifield Street around 2:30 a.m. When firefighters arrived, residents were screaming out their windows for help. Five adults and two children were rescued and all were taken to hospitals for treatment.
Of the seven people brought to the hospital, three are in serious condition. One cat was rescued from the fire, though another did not survive.
“There was smoke pouring under the door and I opened the door and I heard the downstairs neighbor yelling ‘fire, fire,’” said Ashleigh Oathout, who can’t believe she made it out alive. “The alarms never went off, none of them.”
Video shows Ashleigh crawling down an aerial ladder in the middle of the night, trying to escape the fire that engulfed the triple decker she called home for two years.
Firefighters believe the fire started in the middle floor, but the exact cause is not yet known.
“I kind of leapt over and he said just lay down and keep going I threw on my heels of all things,” Ashleigh said.
She and her boyfriend were two of the seven people rescued. They lost everything including their cat. “He’s in ICU, he was the worst one they said,” Ashleigh said of her boyfriend.
Worcester’s Deputy Fire Chief says 70 firefighters rushed to the building after getting the call.
“Crews arrived to find heavy fire on the second floor and smoke throughout the whole building, there were multiple people hanging out of various windows,” Dep. Chief Andrew White said.
Fourteen people are now displaced.
“You work so hard for everything you’ve got, and you lose it in an instant,” one resident said.
Oathout says she’s thankful for the firefighters who saved her. “You guys saved our lives, thank you.”
All three floors of the eight-unit building were damaged in the fire.