At first the Revere Fire Department responded to 10 Franklin Ave. it was to respond to an alarm sounding on the
fourth floor at 2:08 p.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived they searched each floor and found a haze floating in the air.
“And then the fire made itself known,” said Fire Capt. Tom Todisco.
The fire in the 36-unit building soon turned to a 5-alarm blaze that made roughly 100 people homeless and knocked down three firefighters with heat related injuries.
Fire crews from Revere Engine 1, 3, 4, 5 Ladder 1, 2 responded to the scene. Mutual aid also came in from Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Massport, Medford, Somerville, Stoneham and Wakefield Fire Departments.
Battling this fire came on the heels of Revere and other fire departments helping out with the gas explosion and fires in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover over the weekend.
“Once it became clear it was unsafe to attack the fire from the interior all members were ordered out of the building and it became a defensive attack,” Todisco said.
Todsico said a Red Cross Shelter was set up at Revere High School. About 60 people checked in and 35 stayed to Monday evening. Others went to friends or families or local hotels. Those who had no transportation to the high school were transported by MBTA bus.
“This was not a pretty site,” said Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky, who worked in the shelter until 11 p.m. Sunday night. “It was a devastating fire. I just remember seeing a 5 and a 7-year-old walking around in their pajamas. It’s all they had.”
Mayor Brian Arrigo was able to obtain 10 hotel rooms at the Comfort Inn. CAPIC is helping with finding permanent housing solutions for those displaced. The Red Cross has given out vouchers for expenses. A donation drive is also going on. The Mayor’s Office, 281 Broadway, is seeking clothing, non-perishable food items, toiletries, water bottles, diapers, baby formula and other items that could be of use to the victims.
The last firefighting unit was cleared from the scene at 8:12 a.m. on Monday morning.
“It took massive amounts of water to finally extinguish the blaze,” Todisco said.
The cause is undetermined at this time.
Monday night the mayor asked the city council to approve the establishment relief fund for this fire and any future disaster.