WORCESTER, Mass. — On day five of the investigation into the Gage Street apartment fire, the Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the four victims who died in the fire over the weekend.
-Joseph Garchali, 47 years old, of 2 Gage Street, apartment 3L, Worcester
-Christopher Lozeau, 53 years old, of 2 Gage Street, apartment 3R, Worcester
-Vincent Page, 41 years old, of Worcester
-Marcel Fontaine, 29 years old, of 2 Gage Street, apartment 3L, Worcester
“It’s devastating and you would never think that it would happen to your own family member,” said Renee Fontaine, Marcel’s sister.
Marcel was the last person pulled out of the burned apartment Monday, meaning for two days his family was frantically searching for him and calling his phone.
“It wasn’t going straight to voicemail so it almost like gave me hope at the time because I was like, maybe he’s somewhere,” said Fontaine. “Maybe he’s in a hospital, and they have his phone on the charger. I just didn’t know where he was. So obviously I called all the hospitals trying to find my brother.”
After two trips back and forth from Connecticut, Renee and their parents got the closure they didn’t want.
“They found my brother later that afternoon and that’s when we learned that It was him,” said Fontaine. “I showed them a picture of him and then they were able to like make the identification at that time.”
Earlier this week, the family of Page came to drop off flowers. They said the father of three didn’t live here, but was just visiting.
“He was the piece of glue in the family,” said cousin Christopher Lopez. “He was just one of those pieces that stuck us together sometimes.”
While the city continues investigating the cause of the fire, these families are having to plan funerals.
“I would want him to be remembered as just like the kindest, sweetest person,” said Fontaine. “He was always himself and wasn’t scared to be himself. He was gay and proud. He was autistic and proud of that too. He was an activist. He spoke for people who didn’t have a voice. He just cared about other people so much. He was unique.”
Police are still staying tight-lipped on the investigation into the cause, but residents like Manuel Lucero, who helped rescue several people, say they have many suspicions from what they noticed before the fire.
“Weird stuff to hear at three in the morning,” said Lucero. “A lot of hushed whispers rummaging around. It felt odd.”
The landlord Jim Li wouldn’t elaborate on the new smoke detectors but told Boston 25 there were working smoke detectors inside, and that he did everything up to code.
Buildings at 5 Eastern Ave and 4 Gage St were also damaged, though the severity is not known at this time, according to the city.
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