One woman died and another was injured in a fire in a high-rise development in Arlington, Massachusetts, early Saturday morning.
Fire officials say the fire broke out around 4 a.m. in a bedroom on the third floor of Chestnut Manor, a seven-story, 100-unit development for the elderly and disabled. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze but there was heavy smoke damage throughout.
The fire also led to dozens of residents being evacuated from the building.
According to Arlington Fire Chief James Bailey, some vulnerable residents were placed on warming buses while others sought refuge at a local church.
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According to fire officials, one woman whose apartment was adjacent to the room where the fire started died at the scene from smoke inhalation. Authorities identified her Monday as 88-year-old Bridget Doyle.
“On behalf of the Arlington Fire Department, I want to express our deepest condolences to the victim’s loved ones,” Arlington Fire Chief Kevin Kelley said. “Her loss is a tragedy for the family and the community. Fortunately, smoke alarms and fire sprinklers in the building operated properly, alerting residents and containing the fire until our firefighters arrived to extinguish it. Without smoke alarms and sprinklers, this morning’s tragedy could have been even worse.”
Another woman whose bedroom was the one that caught fire was able to escape into a neighbor's unit from the balcony. She sustained smoke related injuries and is currently being treated at an area hospital.
Personnel and specialized apparatus were also sent to the scene by the Department of Fire Services to support first responders.
The Red Cross was also helping out at the scene. Fire officials said about 16 people were displaced from the building.
The town has set up a fund to support residents impacted by the fire. To donate to the Chestnut Manor Relief Fund, visit www.arlingtoncommunitycenter.org/chestnutmanor.
The state fire marshal's office said the fire was accidental and started in an electric baseboard heater that either malfunctioned or was in close proximity to combustible items.