Chelsea Fire Department

Concerns Raised in Chelsea After Power Line Sparks 4-Alarm House Fire

The landlord and homeowner told NBC10 Boston that he has asked Eversource to remove the post but that the utility company hasn't responded about the pole's removal or about Thursday's fire.

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The utility pole connected to the power line is right next to the home, and the home’s owner says this isn’t the first time this has happened.

There's concern from a landlord and building owner in Chelsea, Massachusetts, after a 4-alarm fire broke out late Thursday night at a multi-family home, sending 11 people fleeing for their safety.

An official with the department of fire services said Friday that a joint investigation by the state fire marshal's office and the Chelsea Fire Department determined the Marginal Road fire was accidental.

The point of contention for the homeowner, however, is how it started.

Public information officer Jake Wark told NBC10 Boston in a statement that the fire began with a power line, connected to a switching mechanism on a utility pole that was in close proximity to the residence, which then spread to the structure.

Here's the problem: the utility pole connected to the power line is right next to the home, and the owner tells NBC10 Boston this isn't the first time this has happened.

“That’s the second time that happened," Pablo Castillo said. "It was heavy sparks then fell on top of my house.”

Video from 2017 shows when the cables charged with 6,000 volts came into contact with the home.

Tenant Paul Godor was there when it happened.

“You could see that this transformer was sparking. It looked dangerous. It’s crazy. That’s all I remember,” Godor recalled.

Castillo says he has asked Eversource to remove the post but tells NBC10 Boston that the utility company hasn't responded about the pole's removal or about Thursday's fire.

“They know what happened but they haven’t said anything about pay," Castillo said. "Right now I’m just in contact with my insurance.”

NBC10 Boston has reached out to Eversource for comment on the utility pole's proximity to the Marginal Road residence. We have not yet heard back.

The landlord said everyone was safe.

The Chelsea Fire Department responded to the 4-story residential home after flames broke out around 10:20 p.m.

“Two explosions about 30 seconds apart,” Godor said of what he heard Thursday night. "I came out and saw some of the roof started to catch on fire and I just grabbed my kids and my family and stepped out.”

The fire department had said Thursday night it could not confirm there had been an electrical explosion.

On Friday, Godor was salvaging any belongings he could from his first-floor apartment after the blaze forced him and him and his family to bolt from their home late at night.

Friends and family like Donald Durand, who attends the same church as Godor, are trying to ensure the tenants are okay.

“We just felt really terrible when we heard the news," Durand said, "and my wife and I came out here this morning and helped them out any way we can.”