Malden

Fire Tears Through Malden Building With Apartments, Laundromat

The fire appeared to be tearing through a three-story building that houses a laundromat

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Massive flames tore through a building Monday evening in Malden, Massachusetts.

Dozens of firefighters were working to put out the blaze on Grove Street.

"I started hearing, 'Oh, there's fire outside,'" said Chinwendu Ibe, who lives in the building. "I saw particles falling from the ceiling."

She'd just been talking with family earlier in the day about the tragic apartment building fire in New York over the weekend, so she didn't hesitate to run.

"It was when I got out — ceiling burning down, smoke everywhere," she said.

Firefighters say there are six apartments in the building, and there's a laundromat on the first floor.

"They've been here about three years now," said Brian Pham, whose parents own the laundry business. "I sprinted over here knowing my parents are working. Luckily, they were already out."

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Firefighters searched the building and say everyone was out before they arrived.

"The firefighters are dealing with not just a rapidly extending fire, but also icing conditions," said Malden Fire Chief Bill Sullivan. "Anytime you're playing with water in sub-freezing temperatures, you run into icy conditions, you've got to be sure of your footing, the ice takes over everything."

As for Ibe, a police officer gave her gloves. And good Samaritans went out and bought her boots because she ran out in flip flops.

"That's a good thing, to find really generous people in times like this," she said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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