Several displaced following late-night fire; home a complete loss

Heavy winds complicated efforts to battle triple-decker fire

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — About a dozen people are looking for a new place to live, following a late night fire in Fall River

Emergency crews responded to a very smoky fire at a triple-decker on Canonicus Street around 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Firefighters said heavy winds complicated the effort in putting the fire out. Investigators are not clear where the blaze actually began. By the time fire crews arrived, the flames had already spread throughout most of the house.

“First we had crews in there. They didn’t put it out. It got into the walls and the ceilings, it got above them. We had to call everybody out and make sure everybody was accounted for and fight it defensively using the ladder trucks and used a lot of water. We poured water on it for a good two hours,” said District Chief Doug Sullivan of the Fall River Department.

Yvette Moore said she was the first to smell smoke.

“I woke up my husband, told him to go check for us. He checked,” she says. “He went downstairs, looked behind the house, saw it was engulfed with fire, and he came and he told everybody in the building to get out.”

By the time they got out, she said flames were everywhere.

“There were flames coming out, that window busted out. Flames were all up on top.”

The fire seemed to be concentrated toward the back of the house and moved quickly.

Fire investigator Neil Furtado said that’s because the home was built in the 40’s – a time when many did not have firewalls to block fast moving flames.

“It could actually start in the first, skip the second, the third and then get into the attic,” said Furtado. “These things happen quite a bit in a city like Fall River.”

Three families of about a dozen were inside and they are now being helped by the Red Cross.

Meanwhile, investigators say it could take days, or even weeks, to determine a cause.

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