‘Calling out his name as loud as I could’: Man injured in deadly Lowell fire tried to rescue brother

LOWELL, Mass. — Authorities have launched an investigation after one person was killed and another was injured in a house fire in Lowell on Saturday night.

Firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls for a blaze at 114 Farmland Road shortly before 11 p.m. observed heavy smoke and fire in the rear of the building and learned someone was still inside, Lowell Fire Chief Phillip A.J. Charron, Lowell Police Superintendent Gregory C. Hudon, State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine, and Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said in a joint news release.

Crews braved intense heat as they attacked the fire from inside the home, where they found an unresponsive man on the second floor.

Homeowner Kevin Bearden told Boston 25 News his brother Charles was the one killed in the blaze.

From his son’s house in New Hampshire, Kevin relived the terrifying moments his Lowell home went up in flames.

Playing music downstairs Saturday night while his brother was upstairs in their Farmland Road home, Kevin says he heard a crackling noise but didn’t act until it grew louder.

“Finally I said ‘What is he falling or something?’” Kevin explained. “I see the whole top of the hallway full of smoke.”

Kevin said the smoke was coming from his older brother Charles’ room, who was reportedly disabled and had difficulty walking.

Kevin rushed upstairs and banged down Charles’ door, where he was injured by a backdraft and couldn’t see anything through the smoke

“I was calling out his name as loud as I could but after a couple of times it was pretty realistic,” said Kevin.

Chris, a longtime next-door neighbor, rushed to help outside where Kevin had made it out safely with his dogs.

“I look out my window and my backyard is lit up like it’s daytime,’ said Chris. “I look over and I see the flame shooting out of his house.”

There were no working smoke alarms found at the scene and investigators don’t believe the fire was intentionally set, officials noted.

“A fire at home can become deadly in three minutes or less,” State Fire Marshal Davine said. “Please take a moment to be sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home. They’re your family’s first line of defense against a fire, especially in the overnight hours when fires are most likely to become deadly.”

Kevin believes his brother may have started it by smoking.

“He was probably drinking and smoking up there and fell asleep,” Kevin said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Lowell Fire Department, Lowell Police Department, state police assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office, and state police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

A fundraiser has been set up for the Bearden family.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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