By Brendan Clogston
A dangerous three-alarm house fire last Friday, July 13 devastated the two-family building at 15 Morris St., injuring two firefighters and a resident and displacing 19 people.
When firefighters arrived at the scene Friday afternoon, they found an intense fire ripping through the two-family home with a woman still on the second floor, trapped. The situation became even more dangerous as Ladder 2 Acting Lieutenant Scott Dalrymple and Firefighter Joshua Doyon tried to enter the building from the front porch when the intense heat from backdraft forced the two men back outside with serious injuries.
The woman was able to flee to the roof of the building, allowing firefighters to rescue her using ground ladders. She was transferred to the hospital along with Dalrymple and Doyon. The victim and Doyon were released Friday night, but Dalrymple, though he is expected to recover, suffered from second- and third-degree burns, and has remained in the hospital to undergo skin grafts.
“This was an extremely dangerous and volatile fire,” said Fire Chief Tony Carli. “Our guys did a tremendous job battling the blaze, responding to our injured firefighters and rescuing an occupant of the home. … When fire strikes it spreads fast and can become deadly very quickly. We work hard every day to ensure we are prepared when the alarm sounds. I’m proud of the way we responded to this incident. I’m also grateful for the outpouring of support from the community for those injured and the rest of the department.”
Dalrymple is a 24-year veteran of the department. Doyon has been with the department for four years.
The Fire Marshal has ruled that the cause of the fire was an electrical panel.
After the fire, the building was deemed structurally unsound. The City of Everett ordered the building owners, Muddassir Bari and Nargis Bhatti, to demolish the home, with a deadline of July 18 to begin preparations.
The city’s Inspectional Services Department had visited the building several times in recent months. A search in March discovered no working fire detection equipment in the building. The city ordered that problem to be rectified immediately, which likely saved several lives on Friday.
Nineteen people were displaced by the fire. The Red Cross has stepped in to assist the displaced residents to find new housing. Mayor Carlo DeMaria has called on the community to show solidarity with the displaced residents by donating to the city’s Fire Victims Fund.
“After each fire, it is important that we come together as a community to help support victims after they have been displaced from their home. Established in 2009 by Stacy and I, the Fire Victims Fund provides a method for the City of Everett, its residents and business community to contribute to any possible victims of fire related tragedies. Since its inception, my administration has helped hundreds of individuals through devastating fires. Through generous contributions and donations from community members, the City is able to donate approximately $250 to each person in need.”
To make a donation to the fund, call 617-394-2270.