The Revere Fire Department contained a three-alarm blaze that struck a multi-family building at 24 Kingman Ave. last Wednesday (June 2) afternoon.
According to Chief Christopher Bright, upon arrival firefighters saw heavy fire and smoke on the top floor.
“The fire got above the ceiling and into the attic space so that caused some problems,” said Bright. “We got the roof partially ventilated before we ordered everyone off because the roof was starting to collapse. Then we just contained the fire, set up some master streams and large diameter hose lines and got adequate water supply in there and we knocked it down and went in and knocked down the small pockets of fire and overhauled the top floor.”
The inherent danger that firefighters encounter in attacking house fires was present on this day. The hot, humid weather, the collapsing roof, the uncertainty of knowing whether the interior staircases would withstand the fire, and the search for any occupants still inside all led to crucial decisions being made on the scene for the immediate safety of all concerned.
In fact, in a heroic team effort after all the residents had exited the burning structure, Revere firefighters were alerted by a visibly upset resident that a dog was left behind inside the building. Led by Lt. Nick Russo, firefighters entered the burning structure and Russo located the dog that was carried to safety.
“She’s OK, thank God this is my baby,” the woman told WHDH-TV News after the dog’s rescue. “Yeah, it’s only me and her in the house, you know, this is my best friend…the things I have in the house, I don’t care. I can buy, but my dog, this is different.”
Two firefighters sustained heat exhaustion and dehydration at the scene and were treated and released from the hospital. The Red Cross was summoned to the scene to help assist the displaced residents. Mayor Brian Arrigo has established a fund to assist the residents.
Bright said a departmental investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the blaze. It is believed that the cause may have been a careless disposal of smoking materials though the significant damage caused by the smoke and water may not allow the department to officially confirm the cause.
The Kingman Avenue blaze followed less than two weeks after a five-alarm fire destroyed a six-family residence on Endicott Avenue in Beachmont, also in the mid-to-late afternoon hours.
“Locally no other homes were damaged in this [Kingman Avenue] fire,” said Chief Bright. “We’ve been through this a lot. We’ve had a lot of fires lately. My message to people is to be mindful with their discarding of cigarettes and where they’re lighting their grills and things of that nature this summer.”
(Information from the WHDH-TV website was used in the compilation of this story. The Revere Journal interviewed Chief Christopher Bright separately for the story).