Massive Blaze Breaks Out at Rooming House in Mass. | NECN


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Massive Blaze Breaks Out at Rooming House in Mass.

Authorities believe the fire may be suspicious



    Officials are investigating two fires in Southbridge, Massachusetts, one which may be suspicious. (Published Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016)

    Firefighters spent much of Sunday afternoon battling a massive blaze at a building in Southbridge, Massachusetts.

    The fire started in a 13-unit rooming house on the two upper floors of the building on Central Street and quickly reached 6-alarms.

    Fire Officials Investigate Blaze at Southbridge Building

    [NECN] Fire Officials Investigate Blaze at Southbridge Rooming House
    Fire officials are investigating a suspicious blaze at a rooming house in Southbridge, Massachusetts. (Published Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016)

    Fire officials said the nature of the building made it a difficult fire to fight.

    "You can see from the building there's not a lot of space," said Fire Chief Mark DiFronzo. "The alleys are very narrow. The building has been modified and remodeled a number of times. There's three or four different ceilings, void spaces, there's rooms that were created after room. So it's a very difficult job for the firefighters to even get inside."

    One firefighter was transported to an area hospital with non life-threatening conditions.

    More than a dozen people who lived in the apartments were displaced.

    Jackie Szymczak, who works at the coffee shop on the bottom level of the building said she saw the first flames in the alley.

    "It went right up the electrical wiring, right to that building," said Szymczak.

    At least 8 businesses damaged by the fire.

    "I've been here for 9 years and now I can't even get in to get to work," said Szymczak.

    The cause of the blaze is still under investigation but authorities believe it may be suspicious.

    Later in the day, another fire broke out at a 3-story home on Benefit Street, a short distance away. The blaze displaced 8-10 families. Officials are now investigating to see if the two fires are related.

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