New Bedford chief: One person dead following fire at Acushnet Avenue rooming house
NEW BEDFORD — One person has died and several others were injured as a result of a fire at an Acushnet Avenue rooming house, New Bedford Fire Chief Scott Kruger confirmed Tuesday evening.
Mayor Jon Mitchell also confirmed two people are unaccounted for, according to WCVB reports Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday afternoon, the New Bedford Fire Department responded to a massive fire at the Royal Crown Lodging House, a rooming house-style building at 1301-1307 Acushnet Ave. where flames could be seen coming from the second and third floors.
Kruger said calls for the fire came in about 2:15 p.m. "The fire had control of that building when we arrived. There's no question about that, it was on all four floors. In the hallways. It actually burned through a stairwell when they were in there," said Kruger. "We had four crews in there searching and we had to pull them out."
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Kruger said the first firefighters to arrive rescued several people jumping from the windows of the building. “Upon arrival we rescued at least three people over ladders ... maybe more. Some people had jumped out of windows.”
He confirmed to The Standard Times that at least five people are in the hospital right now, some with serious conditions. He said the injuries were varied, the result of smoke inhalation, fire and jumping out of the windows.
Kruger said at least two dozen people lived in the rooming house.
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The roof of the building has collapsed, and Kruger said firefighters had to treat every side of the building as a potential collapse zone, according to WCVB.
Jake Wark, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, said it deployed a rehab unit to support firefighters at the scene and a hazardous materials team to monitor air quality in the area.
Kruger said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Fire investigators assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office and New Bedford Fire Department personnel are investigating.
According to a listing for the apartment building at Rosen Property Management, single- and double-occupancy rooms are rented on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.
The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services responded to the scene to assist displaced residents by providing food, water and other items as requested. "Our team from our nearby Salvation Army Corps Community Center in New Bedford is also available to provide emotional and spiritual care for survivors, as well as other social services in the days to follow," according to the Salvation Army press release.
This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: New Bedford fire crews respond to Acushnet Ave apartment house