‘He’s a hero’: Firefighter rescues girl from burning Everett home after DPW workers spot smoke

EVERETT, Mass. — A firefighter rescued a 3-year-old girl from the top floor of a burning triple-decker in Everett on Wednesday morning, according to a pair of public works employees who rushed into the home before crews arrived at the scene.

The fire broke out on the corner of Hancock and Tappan streets around 8 a.m., prompting a massive response from Malden, Chelsea, and Everett firefighters.

Jason Papa and Jesse Whinocour were driving down the street when they spotted smoke and sprung into action to alert the residents inside.

“We were driving down the street and we saw the smoke. I told him to stop the truck. We ran in and started kicking doors and knocking on doors. We ran inside the apartments to make sure nobody was in there,” Whinocour said. “There was too much flames, too black from the smoke. I couldn’t save her.”

Papa said the little girl was unconscious when the firefighter emerged from the smoke and flames.

“He ran in after we came out. We said, ‘There might be somebody up there. We can’t see anymore,’” Papa recalled. “We guided him up, he went up, came out a couple minutes later, and she was lifeless. He ran down the street with her.”

Everett Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Hickey said the girl and firefighter who rescued her were both transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“He went up there and saved her,” Whinocour said of the firefighter. “He’s a hero...Thank God for that firefighter. She’s alive because of him.”

Papa and Whinocour estimated that about 20 people were inside the home when the fire started.

Officials urged the public to avoid the area due to the large emergency response.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Hickey suspects the flames originated on the third floor.

There were no additional details immediately available.

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

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