Families are back to collect what’s left of their belongings after a three-alarm fire in Massachusetts tore through an apartment building just days before Christmas.
Thursday night, flames consumed the units at 11 Ashton Place in Methuen. A firefighter fell through the second floor, where the fire originated, but he was able to get out safely. Two others suffered injuries but they are expected to recover. The roof collapsed and residents of the building were able to escape unharmed, but are now facing a holiday season without a home.
Today, families who were evacuated after the fire were allowed to return to their homes and take whatever wasn’t destroyed. The building is a total loss, according to the Methuen Fire Department.
Rafael Frias lived on the second floor of the building, and many of his possessions were still intact.
“Fortunate for me, there’s not much wrong with my apartment. I have white couches that are still pristine after my mom’s church came and blessed my apartment,” Frias said.
But Frias is grateful for more than just the material things.
“I have what’s most important,” Frias said. “I have my family, and I’m alive, and I’m healthy, and this will come back another day.”
Not everyone was a fortunate as Frias. In total, 21 families were evacuated from their homes, including a handful of kids. Methuen Firefighters are doing their best to help those who were affected by the fire. Deputy Fire Chief Dan Donahue says the department is trying to gather toys for the displaced children so they can have gifts on Christmas.