WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) – A late-night fire has claimed the life of a 4-year-old boy in Westport.
Fire officials said that the flames broke out at 9 Mount Pleasant Street at about 10:55 Saturday night.
Upon arrival, firefighters found the two-story home engulfed with heavy fire on both floors. The victim, a 4-year-old boy, was found dead in his second-floor bedroom. Three other people, including one who had attempted to rescue the boy, were hospitalized with burns and smoke inhalation.
“Christmas is this week, and he was looking forward to seeing Santa,” said neighbor Bethany about the little boy who died.
She said her brother, Jacob, was the teen who ran inside to try and save the child. He eventually had to abandon that effort due to flame and smoke, and jumped out the window. His father told Eyewitness News Jacob was out of the hospital and resting Sunday evening.
The State Fire Marshal is investigating whether the house had working smoke detectors.
Saturday’s tragedy was not the first deadly fire to sweep through the Mount Pleasant house. According to Westport’s Deputy Fire Chief, nine members of the Audette family died in a fire there in November 1952.
“They all died of smoke inhalation,” said Miguel Massa, a relative of those 1952 victims. “My grandmother, seven aunts and one uncle.”
65-year-old Massa told Eyewitness News he was two years old when that first fire broke out. He said he and his mother–now age 84–survived.
“It brought back a lot of memories,” he said. He returned to the house Sunday after his mother was devastated by the news that tragedy had struck that house again.
“I wanted to be able to say, ‘mom, [the house] is not going to be used again,'” he said. “It’s inconceivable to lose anyone to fire…my heart goes out to them.”
The State Fire Marshal’s office said Sunday night the name of the boy would be released by the Bristol County DA’s office once all family had been notified.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s office and the Massachusetts State Police.