Springfield apartment fire leaves 25 residents homeless, family dog dead

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of residents are without a home and a family dog is dead after a fire tore through an apartment building in the Locust Street section of Springfield early Friday afternoon. 

According to the Springfield Fire Department, 25 people have been put out at 174 Locust Street and everyone was able to get out safely. The three-story apartment building housed six families.

A woman next door said her friends lost everything.

“All she took with her was just her pocketbook,” said Justina Watkins of Springfield. “She was like her food stamps, her clothes, her children’s stuff. She had just went school shopping for her kids. all the stuff was in there.”

Photo: Springfield Fire Department

Fire Commissioner Calvi told 22News one person attempted to run back in the building while firefighters were working to put out the flames trying to save a dog. Unfortunately, the family dog did not make it. A 44-year-old man with an unknown medical issue was taken to an area hospital.

The fire was initially reported around 2 p.m. and was upgraded to a second alarm about an hour later. Locust St. was closed from the Mill Street intersection and through Belmont Avenue for several hours but has since reopened.

Fire crews were faced with another challenge in the area as a water main broke while they were working on the structure fire. At one point, water could be seen bubbling from underneath the concrete and the road is also partially collapsed. The commissioner could not confirm if the fire caused the water main break.

Due to a fire and water main break on Locust Street, please avoid the Locust Street/Belmont Ave/Mill Street area. Please seek alternate routes while the Springfield Fire Department, Springfield Police Department, and Springfield Water & Sewer Commission respond.

Mayor Sarno’s Office

“It was scary cause the fire could have like, moved onto the building because there was like a lot of trees behind the fences,” said Ivanel Maisonet of Springfield. “I went downstairs to my mom and told her there was a fire and she looked out the window.” 

The Red Cross was called to assist and the city’s Arson and Bomb Squad are still trying to determine what caused the fire.

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