Crews battle 4-alarm fire in Fitchburg
FITCHBURG, Mass. (WHDH) -- Crews battled extreme elements fighting a fire that erupted in an old abandoned apartment building Friday evening.
The flames forced a family next door from their home.
“It's tough to see your life to go up in smoke,” said Debbie Lucci, who lost her home.
The pain stung even worse on a bitterly cold night.
“I was out in the cold all day working now I come home and I’m in the cold all night with no place to go,” said Lionel Tarbell, a fire victim.
Water turned to ice as Fitchburg firefighters fought to keep the flames from spreading beyond the three-story building where the fire started.
“We could see it from about two miles away in the city,” said a firefighter.
When a side wall collapsed, the neighboring house lit up.
“That whole place shot right up in minutes. The whole place was in flames. Then the brick got weak. Fell down landed on my house got my whole roof open and then my house burnt down,” Tarbell said.
The three adults who lived there are safe, but for years they've questioned the safety of living next to an abandoned triple-decker.
“There was always somebody in that place all the time,” Tarbell said,
Firefighters didn't find anyone in the building, but they're investigating whether someone could have been here when the massive fire broke out.
“It's been vacant for quite some time. It was pretty well secure. No power to the building. No gas so obviously it's a suspicious fire,” said Kevin Roy, Fitchburg Fire Chief.
Everyone was able to make it out of the house safely.