Community Lends Support to Those Impacted by 5-Alarm Fire

Residents of a Massachusetts apartment building are grateful to neighbors for alerting them to a fire Wednesday night.

"I was in shock," Dennis Rines of Sturbridge said Thursday. "I still am, actually."

Rines, who lives on Brookfield Road, was awakened by a loud banging on his door. His neighbors tried to save him from the flames ripping through the third floor.

He evacuated with only the clothes on his back and a few important documents.

"Huge flames, they were shooting above the roof. Maybe 10-15 [feet]. Maybe more than that," Rines said.

Sturbridge firefighters elevated the blaze to five alarms for help from around the area. They were able to knock down the fire by 2 a.m., but it was too late for much of Rines' property.

His ceiling caved in and water damage was evident through his home. Despite the loss, he's grateful for the community rallying to help.

Scott Latour of Latour's Twisted Spoke was on scene, helping to get anything salvageable out of the apartment.

"Even the people that have been stopping by with donuts and coffee. One guy stopped by with gift cards so they could go in and get something to eat," Latour said. "It kind of makes you feel better about humanity."

As Rines loaded up his car with some of his soaked items, he was able to smile and maintain his perspective.

"You can replace things, but you cannot replace your life," he said.

Sturbridge Fire say they think the blaze started as an electrical fire. The investigation is still ongoing.

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