Massachusetts

Fall River Home Catches Fire, Collapses During Blizzard-Like Conditions; 2 Firefighters Injured

Seven adults and four children were displaced by the fire at the multi-family home on Irving Street in Fall River, the mayor's office said

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A multi-family home in Fall River, Massachusetts, collapsed Saturday night after a 4-alarm fire tore through the building as firefighters battled flames during blizzard-like conditions.

The Fall River Fire Department responded to the Irving Street blaze around 4:50 p.m., according to a press release from Mayor Paul Coogan's office. The 4-alarm fire impacted the first, second, and third floors of the building.

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Two firefighters were injured on scene, the mayor's office said. One was hurt while trying to force entry within the building, and another was injured during a slip and fall outside.

A resident from a neighboring building was also taken to a local hospital after complaining of difficulty breathing.

Fire crews experienced several issues in accessing the home while a nor'easter continued to batter much of the East Coast with plenty of wind and heavy snow. The mayor's office said a disabled and abandoned tow truck on Irving Street, and a plow truck stuck on a neighboring street obstructed the fire department's access to the scene.

Additionally, WJAR video from the scene also showed cars parked on both sides of Irving Street, which conflicts with the city's parking ban that was in effect; parking was only allowed on one side of the street during the ban, WJAR reported.

According to the mayor's office, the building suffered catastrophic damage and is considered a complete loss. Approximately 80% of the building had collapsed. As of 8:30 p.m., one portion of the structure was still leaning into the street and crews remained on site.

The fire displaced seven adults and four children, all of whom were assisted with housing on a frigid Saturday night.

The fire forced two nearby homes to be evacuated, WJAR reported, citing a spokesperson for the Fall River mayor.

WJAR video showed heavy flames pouring out of the front of the home, which is in close proximity to others.

One neighboring home did experience exposure damage, the mayor's office said. No other surrounding buildings were severely impacted.

With temperatures diving into the single digits Saturday night (and a wind chill below zero), the water being used to put out the flames could become a big problem in Fall River.

The National Weather Service Boston confirmed Saturday that blizzard conditions were met in several areas across southern New England, including Boston, Worcester, Hyannis and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, and Providence, Newport, and Block Island in Rhode Island.

The Fall River Police Department, Emergency Medical Services and the City’s Department of Public Works were also on scene Saturday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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