Crews battle heavy fire at Franklin condo complex Monday

FRANKLIN, Mass. — Flames ate right through the roof of a Franklin condo complex Monday. Firefighters said it started in a third-floor unit of Building 2. The smoke could be seen for miles. Residents alerted each other to run for safety.

“The woman downstairs started yelling, ‘everyone out, Building 2 is on fire,’” said Donna Masters, who lives in the building beside the one where the fire started.

Masters was home with her dog and watching her one-year-old grandson when she picked them up and ran. She said she left so quickly she forgot her shoes.

“So, I just grabbed them and left. I left everything there, and I’m just praying that it doesn’t spread,” Masters said.

Meanwhile, on the first floor where the fire started, Aaron Morey said his wife didn’t at first pay attention to the fire alarm because they were testing them earlier in the day.

“She was like, ‘ok it’s just a test.’ It wasn’t until the Fire Marshall or whoever was banging on the door, then she knew she had to get out,” Morey said.

One of the people banging on doors was retired Needham firefighter Mike Wright who instinctively jumped into action.

“I knocked on a couple of doors on the second floor, and then I went to the third floor, I opened the door, it was unlocked and the smoke was heavy,” said Wright, who was a firefighter for 37 years.

Franklin’s Battalion Chief said crews faced some challenges right out of the gate.

“There’s a high wind up on the hill. And this is a trouble area for water supply, it’s a private water supply up here. So, we did have an initial problem with getting enough water for the fire,” said Chuck Allen, who is the Battalion Chief in Franklin.

The chief said 12 units are a total loss and 24 others are so badly damaged that families cannot stay there tonight. Everyone did get out safely, although for some an already rough year was made worse today. But it does have a silver lining.

“I haven’t had a job for a year and now I may not have a home, def everything will be smoke damaged. But me, my grandson and my dog made it out, so that’s all that counts,” Masters said.

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