Massachusetts

Passerby Helps Severely Burned Woman Escape 3-Alarm Fire

Fire officials added that debris inside the Weston house made it hard for crews to knock down the 3-alarm blaze

What to Know

  • Firefighters in Weston and surrounding communities responded to a house fire on North Avenue just after 7 a.m. Tuesday.
  • Fire officials say the victim, a woman in her 80s, was taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston with third-degree burns on her back.
  • Officials say debris inside the house made it hard to respond to the fire.

An elderly woman who suffered up to third-degree burns on her back was rescued off of her porch by a passerby from a 3-alarm fire ripping through her Massachusetts home, according to fire officials.

The blaze was reported just after 7 a.m. Tuesday at a Weston home on North Avenue. The victim was the home's only resident, according to Weston Fire Chief David Soar.

Firefighters initially called in the fire as a 2-alarm blaze but upgraded the fire to a 3-alarm at approximately 7:45 a.m to have more backup, Soar said. Crews from surrounding communities, including Wayland, Newton and Waltham, responded to the scene.

The fire was initially reported on the first floor of the structure but quickly spread to the attic. No firefighters were injured as they battled the blaze.

The fast-moving fire was just steps away from neighbor Jeannie Watson's home.

"It was scary. I could see flames and smoke bellowing way up in the air," recalled Watson.

The victim, who has only been identified as being in her mid-80s, was helped off her porch by an unnamed passerby, who had called 911 about the fire.

"The occupant was on the porch. The passerby helped the occupant off the porch. She was transported to the Brigham and Women's Hospital with second and third-degree burns for her back and other areas of her body," said Soar. 

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One of the challenges of this fire was debris in the house, making it harder for crews to battle the flames, according to Soar. He did clarify that it was not a hoarding situation.

"There was a lot of fire when we got here," he said.

As a result of the fire, traffic on North Avenue along Route 117 was severely affected.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but the state fire marshal's office says it appears to be accidental.

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