Community in shock after fire destroys historic Taunton home


TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A community is left in shock after a fire destroyed a historic six-apartment Taunton home Tuesday night, displacing 11 people who lived inside.

Authorities responded to a home on Harrison Street near Route 44 around 8:20 p.m.

According to the Massachusetts Tax Assessor’s office, the historic home was built back in 1845.

Police working to block road as Taunton firefighters battle fire.

A good Samaritan was nearby with her mother when she noticed smoke from the distance and noticed the Taunton home up in flames.

“I came out of the store from getting groceries for my mom and then I saw some black smoke. When we walked over here, I saw the side of the house on fire and I called the fire department,” said Brittani Albanese.

“I heard people screaming from the first floor, a couple and they couldn’t get out of the window,” she said. Albanese quickly jumped into action, helping to pull them out to safety. “I broke the screen and I pulled them out of the window.”

Taunton Fire Chief Timothy Bradshaw told Eyewitness News a firefighter was treated for a “heat-related condition” and is expected to be okay. One man also had to be rescued from a balcony of the apartment. “We laddered, we got him down on our ladder from there,” Bradshaw said.

“Anytime we have a fire and everybody walks away from it and all the tenants are accounted for, it’s a positive thing,” Bradshaw said.

Dozens of neighbors lined the sidewalks to watch as firefighters from several communities worked to extinguish the flames.

“We heard a lot of noises and the fire kept shooting out of all the windows and it was really insane,” said neighbor Kira Brodeur.

“This breaks your heart. A historic house, but thank God at this point no reported injuries,” said Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye. “We believe everybody got out, and a tremendous job by the Taunton fire department as usual, fighting this tremendous fire.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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