Twenty-four people are without a home and three people are in the hospital after a two-alarm fire on Mulberry Street in Springfield Tuesday morning.
According to Springfield Fire Department Spokesperson Dennis Leger, the fire at 101 Mulberry Street started at approximately 6:09 a.m. in condo 199’s first-floor bedroom.
At one point, firefighters used an aerial platform to rescue top floor resident Josephine Sears. Later, her husband Paul returned to assess the damage.
“We’re on the top floor and we got some smoke damage, I’m sure, but no problem,” Paul Sears said. “I was up early this morning, looking out my window and saw the fire starting, coming out of the ground floor unit.”
Leger said the fire moved throughout the apartment and out a door into the hallway that was left open before the fire was controlled.
There was an act of heroism: a resident who saved his girlfriend from their smoke-filled second-floor apartment.
“I opened up the door and there was a lot of smoke coming in,” Rich Henry told 22News. “I definitely carried her on my back. I had to carry her down the street, but, for the most part, it was what I had to do.”
“I was sleeping,” Onika Freeman recalled. “So when he was like, ‘Get up, we gotta go, it’s a fire,’ I didn’t really know the magnitude of it because I didn’t see the smoke at first, I smelled it.”
Western Massachusetts Red Cross Emergency Services Director Mary Nathan and her volunteers found temporary shelter for more than two dozen residents.
Of the 130 residents evacuated, 24 are without a place to stay and are being assisted by the Red Cross.
Leger said two people were taken to an area hospital for smoke inhalation and another was taken to the hospital for minor arm burns.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Car-1 sounded a second alarm 101 Mulberry pic.twitter.com/cmF9Ho0D09
— SPRINGFIELD FIRE (@SFD_HQ) June 19, 2018>