Chelsea, Mass. resident on house fire: 'We could be homeless'

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January 23, 2013, 4:39 pm
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(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Chelsea, Mass.) - Fire tore through a six-family home in Chelsea, Mass. Wednesday afternoon.

Everyone was out safely by the time the first trucks arrived, but the frigid weather created huge problems for firefighters.

“Multiple frozen hydrants, which limited us to tank water that we kept on the apparatus, the one resource we need to put out a fire is water, and we were limited on that, it got ahead of us and we were lucky to keep it to where it is now,” said Chelsea Fire Chief Bob Better.

Chief Better says they had to run hoses hundreds of feet further to get working hydrants, but after a couple of hours they were able to get the smoke and flames under control with minimal injuries to the crews.

“We have some bumps and bruises, cold weather issues and one member transported I believe with chest pain or overexertion,” said Chief Better.

Buses were brought in to keep the residents affected by the fire out of the cold.

Looking at the charred building, Cassandra Mickles and her 5-year-old daughter Jassiah are thinking the worst right now.

“It’s frustrating, I keep bugging everyone asking them what’s the status of my pet, I have a cat, my belongings, everything I worked hard for could be gone down the drain, so it’s very frustrating,” said Mickles.

“Because I don’t like why it’s getting on fire and keeps getting fire,” said Jassiah.

Mickles says she plans to talk to the Salvation Army and Red Cross about what she and her daughter will do now.

“To find out where we go from here," said Mickles, "we could be homeless, we don’t know so we’re definitely looking at where we’re going to lay our head tonight."

Chief Better says the cause and origin of the fire have not been determined. He says there was extensive damage to the back of the triple decker and the third floor is not salvageable.

It has not been determined yet if the building will be a total loss.

Tags: Fire, Alysha Palumbo, chelsea massachusetts
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