Flames destroy multi-family home in Lynn
LYNN, Mass. (WHDH) -- Numerous families were displaced after a fire ripped through a Lynn apartment building overnight Sunday.
Officials investigated the cause of the fire on Monday. Apparently the fire blocked both staircases out of the building, forcing some people out onto fire escapes.
Flames leapt from every third floor window. At least 40 people were inside the apartment building when a vicious fire broke out around midnight.
“I opened the door and black smoke came flying in. That's when I knew it was real. We were scared to death,” said Stephen Steliotis, a resident of the building.
People raced to evacuate. There were two sets of stairs inside. The fire chief said one was usable for a short time but then the fire spread fast.
"First companies on scene found heavy fire in the rear, in the area of the staircase going up from first floor to the third. The fire was already in the stairwell. By the time they started stretching lines the fire had gone across the first floor and had gone up the front stairwell,” said Chief James McDonald of the Lynn Fire Department.
For Speliotis, the stairs weren’t an option. He was on the second floor and had no choice but to use the fire escape.
“We knocked out screen and we went down the fire escape, my girlfriend and I. Outside of the window, it was just a hole and a ladder. We had to hang out and grab the ladder and go down,” said Steliotis.
He made it safely to ground then looked back to see all the flames. He like so many of neighbors is thankful to be alive but literally is left with just the clothes on his back.
“Now I guess I’m going to have to take it one day at a time. We lost everything,” said Steliotis.
The state fire marshal was assisting the Lynn Fire Department with the investigation into the cause of the fire. The building manager said that they had just replaced all of the batteries in the smoke detect ors with the time change. Those smoke detectors were going off and it's those smoke detectors that woke many people asleep inside this building up.
The building has 24 units and somewhere between 70 and 80 live there. The Red Cross is serving approximately 40 at its shelter at the Brickett School in Lynn. The Red Cross is asking anyone who needs assistance from the fire to call 800-564-1234
No one was hurt but the building has been deemed uninhabitable.