WORCESTER, Mass. - One person has died in a fire overnight Saturday in Worcester, according to an official release from the city’s fire department.
Worcester Fire responded to a building fire at 65 Upsala St. in the city at 3:09 a.m. on Saturday. The blaze quickly rose to three-alarm level, with flames venting from the building’s second-floor windows.
Firefighters were alerted that two people were trapped on the second floor. One of those two was able to escape through a second-floor window onto the first-floor roof before Worcester Police were able to safely remove them.
"I had to stay up all night because you couldn’t go to bed with your neighbor’s house on fire," Rose Mary Williams said. "What I saw was firemen in the smoke, and I saw the ambulance down here and someone on a stretcher."
Those fighting the fire searched for the lone resident stuck inside the burning building, but were ordered out of the residence when heavy fire and enormous amounts of debris prevented them from advancing their lines.
The victim was later found deceased amid large amounts of debris.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze from the exterior of the building. The Fire Investigations Unit of WFD and the Worcester Police Department are on the scene investigating.
"I am very proud of the efforts made by our firefighters this morning," said Chief Michael Lavoie. "They encountered extreme cold, a frozen hydrant, heavy fire and a very difficult building to maneuver in. We are deeply saddened by this loss, but [are] extremely grateful that the second resident was able to escape."
The chief said a frozen hydrant and extremely cold conditions made matters worse, so the fire quickly escalated to three alarms.
"It’s been so cold, it’s terrible," Pawel Golemo said. "It makes everything so complicated for these firefighters."
Neighbors in the area were also thankful for the efforts put in by the firefighters who responded.
"I appreciated the job these people do because there was thick smoke in there," Williams said. "They had to cut the roof to let some of the smoke out."
A separate resident was also transported to UMass Memorial Medical Campus for non-life threatening injuries.
The victim who died in the fire has not yet been identified, while the resident who lives on the first floor was able to get out with minor injuries.
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