SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was terrifying morning as residents were abruptly woken up by fire, smoke and alarms blaring.
60 and 80 people are now without a place to live. The fire started around 7:30 Sunday morning in the second floor of the four story apartment.
At least four people were taken to area hospitals. Once the fire was out, firefighters found the bodies of three victims
Hours after their home was destroyed by the fire, many who were displaced are now being comforted at the South End citizens Council in Springfield.
Springfield Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi told 22News residents were jumping out of windows, “They had people jumping from the windows. The ladder, ladder three was trying to get the ladder up to make some rescues. People were jumping from the third floor at that time.”
The South End Citizens Council is being used as a service delivery sight where Red Cross volunteers and case workers are working with the victims to help get them out of the cold and figure out a plan for each victim.
Victims are being provided with food water and toys for kids.
Mayor Domenic Sarno shared his feeling about the fire with 22News, “They had people jumping from the windows. The ladder, ladder three was trying to get the ladder up to make some rescues. People were jumping from the third floor at that time.”
The Red Cross disaster program director Mary Nathan told 22News the city decided a shelter will not be open for those displaced. “There was talk of opening up a shelter we’ve been working with city officials and the mayor and his team and at this point we decided to seek alternative lodging for the people so we’re working on that so there will not be a communal shelter open.”
Those possible alternative sites include hotels and homes of family and friends of those displaced.
Once the Fire Marshall says the building is safe The Red Cross along with The city of Springfield and PVTA will be providing transportation for residents to go back to the building to try to gather any belongings.
22News wasn’t allowed to speak with any victims but they said they are grateful for the support from the Red Cross and the city of Springfield during this time of disaster.
The fire is being investigated by the Springfield Arson and Bomb squad as well as the Hampden county District Attorney’s Office.
So far, they haven’t said what may have caused this deadly fire.