1 Dead in Early Morning 4-Alarm Condo Complex Fire

Officials confirm a man has died in a four-alarm fire at a condo complex in Arlington, Massachusetts.

The victim has been identified as 47-year-old Wai Cheong.

Authorities say the cause of the fire was due to improper disposal of smoking materials onto mulch which led to flames quickly spreading to a wooden balcony and stairway.

The fire at the Brookside Condominium Complex at 9 Arizona Terrace broke out at 4 a.m. Tuesday. The condo complex is located in the neighborhood where the Mystic Valley Parkway intersects with Route 16.

Mutual aid was provided from numerous surrounding communities. The Arlington fire chief said the area is the end of the fire hydrant system for Arlington, which made it difficult to access water.

Officials say 36 units and several vehicles in the parking lot were damaged or destroyed. The fire sent residents scrambling out into the street with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.

"Residents were woken up abruptly," Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said. "Many of them heard pounding on their doors and cries to 'get out quickly.'"

Many of the residents say they're just happy to be alive.

"I always though I would grab 1,000 things and I just ran out with nothing," one resident said.

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