Worcester court officer loses two relatives in tragic fire

WORCESTER — A popular Worcester court officer and his family are grieving the loss of two members of their family after a house fire on Jaques Avenue. In a post on GoFundMe, Woodrow Adams, a city court officer, said his uncle and grandmother died in the fire and that his father suffered serious injuries after jumping from the third floor of the triple-decker.

The Worcester County District Attorney posted the following message on Twitter Saturday:

The fire began around 7:30 p.m. on Friday and spread to another nearby building while damaging a third on the opposite side, according to neighbors.

Santiago Santana said his mother saw the flames flashing and then charging for their home at 11 Jaques Ave. from about 15 feet away, at 13 Jaques Ave., where the Adams family lived.

“All I did was grab my coat and grabbed my mom and ran out of the house as soon as I could,” Santana said.

Wind and radiant heat likely carried the fire from building to building, according to Deputy Chief Martin Dyer of the Worcester Fire Department.

“It’s awful to see, it hurts,” said Felix Perez, a friend of the Adams family. “It’s a tragic story.”

Hours after the fire, investigators could be seen taking photographs at Jaques Avenue as they work to determine the cause. The department said the fire began on the first floor.

Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. released the following statement on Friday night:

“This has been an extremely trying day for our community, with a 3-alarm fire earlier on William Street, and a 5-alarm fire on Jaques Ave. that has claimed the lives of at least two people, with another individual suffering life-threatening injuries. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of each victim. Both fires have displaced numerous people and left them in need of immediate support. We are thankful for the responses of emergency agencies such as MEMA and the American Red Cross to help them. We extend our deepest gratitude for the brave and selfless efforts of firefighters and emergency personnel who worked the scene at each blaze. They have battled frigid temperatures and weather conditions that have created challenging situations for everyone involved. In this time of tragedy, the survivors and victims are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Officials said 13 people lived in the building, and firefighters believe everyone else living in the house was able to make it out safely.

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