WORCESTER, Mass. — Happy New Year for most of us; for one family, the celebration into the new year only lasted 15 hours and then they were homeless as flames broke through their roof. It was not the way to start the year for the six-people displaced on New Year’s Day.
“I smelled it. When I get out of the house and I was looking on the roof and I said, ‘call 911.’ I told them what happened and they came right away,” said Arthur Collaku, a neighbor.
Not only did Collaku call 911, but he’s also now making a little more space in his own home. Just because the holiday season is coming to an end, doesn’t mean the holiday spirit has to.
“They’re going to come to my house tonight,” Collaku said about the family without renters’ insurance. “No, I don’t think they have [it].”
Firefighters are investigating how the fire began.
“The fire was probably about like 10-foot flames,” said neighbor Sean Hall. “The whole back corner of the house burned off, probably about a quarter of the roof is gone. Yeah, it’s pretty crazy.”
The craziest part for the firefighters, in this case, may not have been putting out the blaze; that took 20 minutes. Instead, it may have been getting to the back of the tight alley.
“They were struggling to get to their trucks in here because there were cars parked along the side of the street,” Hall said.
Agile firefighters prevented the new year from starting even worse and accommodating neighbors gave some hope for 2021.
When asked why he wanted to help out, Collaku gave this response:
“Because in this case, everybody’s trying to help people,” he said.
Of the six people displaced, there were four on the first floor and one on the top two floors. The owner of the building, who was on the scene, said he’s just glad none of the renters were injured.
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