Massachusetts

Extension Cord Use Caused Malden Fire That Injured 2 Firefighters

Flames broke out in the attic of a multi-family home on John Street, fire officials said

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A fire broke out late Monday night at a house in Malden, Massachusetts, sending two firefighters to the hospital and leaving nine people without a home the day after Christmas.

Fire officials on scene confirmed to NBC10 Boston that flames broke out in a multi-family home on John Street and extended into the attic space. The fire had been knocked down as of 10 p.m. but crews were still monitoring for hot spots.

The nine adults who escaped to safety made it out on their own, the fire chief said. None of them reported any injuries.

Fire officials said Tuesday that the cause of the fire was an extension cord that was used unsafely. The cord was run out a window and along the outside of the home, where it ignited the building's exterior.

It was not clear what kind of injuries the two firefighters sustained, but officials said they are expected to be OK.

Fire Chief William Sullivan had no comment Monday when asked if there was a small explosion, which had been reported by some Twitter users and neighbors sharing video from the scene.

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"Again, fire will be under investigation, I have no confirmation or anything like that, in first that's the first I'm hearing of that," he said of the explosions.

Neighbor George Montcinos said he saw a blow in the attic of the house and that there were explosions while firefighters were on scene.

"Suddenly when all of the firefighters were here already, something blows in the attic, maybe the gas line, I don't know, I don't know exactly," he said. "I told my wife, maybe because, we saw some of the firefighters helping the other firefighters to get out."

One neighbor took cell phone video from across the street that shows flames on the right side of the house, into the attic space. The Malden Fire Department did bring in extra help to make sure the flames didn't spread to neighboring homes.

Many people in the area are thankful -- but shaken up.

“We heard all the fire trucks, we saw all the lights. We saw flames and smoke coming from the house, from the third floor," said Maria Gennetti who lives up the street, noting that she wasn't on scene for any explosions. "It was all up right there, we saw all the smoke coming up from there and then we kept seeing sparks of fire as well.”

"We were concerned...we know a lot of people in the area. That's why we're here," she added. "We'll be saying a prayer for them."

"My wife heard our neighbor screaming, I think he was parking his car, and the guy went running toward the house, screaming, 'oh my family, oh my house...' He was saying like his house was on fire," Montcinos said. "But at the same time, the firefighters were arriving to this street."

“You always think of the humans first. You know the material stuff don't care at the moment, it's the people. And when we run out to see the scene, and we saw the people running out of the house...” Montcinos added. "Material stuff you can make that up in the future, you know but not a life. And it's very unfortunate and sad. Especially in this season where we are supposed to be celebrating.”

The Red Cross is assisting those who are without a home.

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