2 Men Killed in Overnight House Fire in Fitchburg

It appears there were no smoke alarms in the home, according to the Massachusetts Fire Marshal's office

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Two people who were unconscious when they were pulled from a house fire overnight in Fitchburg have died, according to the Massachusetts Fire Marshal's Office.

Officials say it appears there were no smoke alarms in the single-family home at 14 Highland Avenue. The fire started around 12:30 a.m. Sunday on the first floor and may have been caused by an overloaded power strip, according to officials.

Firefighters arrived quickly and thought there may be people inside the home after seeing cars in the driveway, according to Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Dateo Jr. who says the victims were pulled from the home within 15 minutes of firefighters arrival.

One man was found in a foyer of the home and it appeared he was trying to escape the fire, according to Deputy Chief Dateo. Leominster firefighters found the other man in a second floor bedroom, still on the bed.

Dateo says both men were removed from the home by firefighters before the flames were put out. He says they were unconscious and not breathing at the time.

CPR was administered and both men were taken by ambulance to Leominster Hospital where they were later pronounced dead. Officials have not released their names and it's unclear what their relationship is.

Deputy Chief Dateo said he could see heavy fire coming out of the front and right side of the home when he arrived on scene.

The flames were knocked down in about half an hour, but the deputy chief says the home suffered heavy damage.

A hazmat response was prompted by reports of an acrid smell, which officials believe is from chemicals in an unused photography lab in the home.

Roads in the area were closed for several hours overnight.

Officials investigating the cause of the fire say while their initial focus is an overloaded power strip, the investigation is ongoing.

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