Nine Malden residents are displaced by the blaze; officials say unsafe use of outdoor electrical connections seen as cause
A three-alarm fire ripped through an Edgeworth neighborhood two-family home the night after Christmas, sending nine residents out into the cold, and two Malden firefighters were hospitalized with injuries. The firefighters’ injuries were non-life-threatening, according to Malden Fire Chief William Sullivan, but serious enough to require that both had to be hospitalized as a result. Investigators said the blaze might have been avoided if better attention was given to the use of outdoor electrical connections used around the home.
The Malden Fire Department responded after a call to 911 to the area of 24-26 John St. shortly after 8:30 Monday night, Dec. 26, and observed smoke and flames from the upper floors of the three-story residence on arrival, according to Chief Sullivan. A second alarm was struck, followed soon by a third. The fire was concentrated on the upper floors, where the two Malden firefighters were injured while battling the blaze.
Mutual aid companies from Everett, Lynn, Medford, Melrose, Revere, Saugus and Somerville responded to assist at the scene, along with Boston Sparks A-10, Cataldo Ambulance and The Salvation Army. Fortunately, no other firefighters other than the Malden pair were injured.
Malden fire officials reported that nine residents of the John Street multifamily all got out safely and no residents were reported injured as a result. The Red Cross is supporting the displaced residents, Malden fire officials added.
“We’re extremely relieved that the two injured firefighters are recovering and that none of the residents were hurt or worse,” said Chief Sullivan.
The Malden fire chief explained what is believed to be the cause of the blaze, noting that the fire could have been avoided. “This fire started with an indoor extension cord that was run through a window along the outside of the home, where it ignited the building’s exterior,” Chief Sullivan said. If you must use an extension cord outside, be sure it’s rated for outdoor use and keep it away from water, snow, and ice.”
“Electrical fires are the second-leading cause of fire fatalities in Massachusetts, including nine deaths last year,” said Mass. State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “Many of these fires start with extension cords and power strips that are damaged, overloaded, or improperly used.”
“Always be sure that these items are free of damage and rated for their intended use,” he added. “Never connect one extension cord or power strip to another, and always plug heavy appliances like space heaters directly into a wall outlet.”
The origin and cause of the fire were investigated by the Malden Fire Department and the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office.