BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Two men died early Sunday morning following an overnight fire at a Fitchburg home. It appears the fire may have been caused by an overloaded power strip.
Firefighters arrived at a Highland Ave. home just after midnight and found two people unconscious. They were rushed to Leominster hospital suffering from burns.READ MORE: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski Inch Closer Toward NFL History Together
Later Sunday morning, the fire marshal’s office announced that neither survived.
Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for the state fire marshal’s office, said an overloaded power strip was the initial focus of the investigation and it appeared the home had no smoke alarms.
“I saw windows shattered. I saw the flames coming out through the walls and black smoke in the air. It was very intense,” said Melvin Cabrera. His family lives next door.
One of the victims was found on the first floor and the other on the second. Firefighters say one of the two men was found near the door.READ MORE: Mix-And-Match J&J COVID Booster Raised Immune Response After Pfizer Vaccine, Study Finds
“The victims were found within 15 mins of our arrival,” said Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Dateo Jr. “They were unconscious and not breathing at the time. CPR was started immediately.”
They were both rushed to Leominster Hospital but did not survive.
After the fire, a hazmat team was called in when crews noticed a strong odor coming from the house.
“It was like a film lab that was in the basement. Whatever chemicals they used to develop film, that’s what it was, the hazmat team mitigated the situation,” said Dateo.
“Be more aware, make sure your fire detectors work and make sure you have a plan when something like that happens,” said neighbor Elida Cabrera. “I pray for their families and hope they get some sort of comfort.”MORE NEWS: Massachusetts Wastewater Testing Shows Increased Presence Of COVID
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)