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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Andover, Mass.) - The roads have gone from bad to treacherous, and that meant dealing with the conditions just to respond to the fire for four towns north of Boston.
Howling winds, driving snow, and late afternoon in Wilmington, Mass, the unfortunate happened as flames became a part of that dreadful mix.
"Right now, it's a pretty good idea we had some involvement of a gas grill on the second floor balcony," Wilmington Fire Chief Ed Bradbury said.
The end result was a fire that surged through an entire building at the Avalon Oaks apartments and left dozens homeless.
"I pulled up and I saw all of the smoke, and a man was screaming, and I jumped out of my car, and I saw just that his porch looked like it had blown out, was on fire," a woman named Margie said.
Margie has lived there for 8 years. She rents one of 24 units that were destroyed and she and her neighbors will all now have to find somewhere else to call home.
Nothing about this attack was easy, since firefighters had to extend hoses about a quarter of a mile to the back building of the complex. They then set up a back up plan on a street nearby to get more water.
The fortunate take away from this nightmare during the blizzard: No one was hurt.
"You know, hey, worse things happen to people, I suppose," Margie said. "It wasn't the best day for it, but I'm alive and breathing."
Those people helped out by the Red Cross. Margie will stay with family for now.