New Bedford fire damages 3 houses, sends 1 person to hospital

New Bedford fire damages 3 houses, sends 1 person to hospital

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Twenty-seven people were forced to evacuate their homes Thanksgiving morning and one woman was taken to the hospital after a fire erupted a home in New Bedford.

According to the Red Cross, which provided the families with hotels Friday night, seven of those displaced where children.

Firefighters said they spent about five hours fighting the flames on Washburn Street.

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They determined the fire started in the back of the home at around 9:45 a.m.

Scott Kruger, Acting Fire Chief for New Bedford, said it may have been the result of a cooking failure.

“That’s one of the possibilities we’re looking into here, is definitely a cooking mishap involving deep frying,” he said.

“When people cook, they need to be careful,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, who also stopped by the scene.

According to New Bedford District Chief James Fortin, who worked all day to put out the fire, the woman who was injured was treated for burns.

“I know there were some burns sustained to the face and head area and some smoke inhalation,” he said Thursday night.

He added that propane tanks may have played a role in how the fire started.

“It was discovered that it was possible propane tanks being used for cooking. That was probably the whistling that we were hearing.”

During the time it took firefighters to douse the flames, Fortin said the department received 4 other calls for oven fires due to holiday cooking.

Interstate 195 was also temporarily shut down due to heavy smoke.

He said he believed the homes may be a total loss, but that an engineer would have to determine that on Friday.

Meanwhile, firefighters said they would remain on the street overnight on Thursday into Friday morning to make sure that no hot spots formed, and that the fire didn’t reignite.

“There is extensive damage to all 3 buildings. I don’t know moving forward what’s going to be salvageable and what’s not,” Fortin said.

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