A man died and a woman was in critical condition Friday morning after a fire ripped through a home in Plymouth, Massachusetts, according to the town's fire chief.
The call came in to firefighters at 5:24 a.m. for smoke inside a building on Post 'N Rail Avenue, Chief Neil Foley said. The report came through a Life Alert.
When they arrived, firefighters saw smoke and flames coming from the single-story, multi-family dwelling and were notified that two people were unaccounted for.
They entered the building and were able to rescue a woman who was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. The second person, an adult male, suffered fatal injuries. Three other adults were able to escape the home, one of whom was later taken to the hospital with "less serious injuries," fire officials said.
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No names have been released by fire officials.
Two Plymouth firefighters also suffered minor injuries at the scene.
“On behalf of the Plymouth Fire Department, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones affected by this morning’s tragedy,” Foley said in a statement Friday afternoon. “Our thoughts are with them right now. To the rest of our community, I want to emphasize that working smoke alarms appear to have prevented an even greater loss of life.”
Neighbors said the homeowners would often let others stay in the home for extended periods of time and they had medical issues, so it wasn’t uncommon to see ambulances or fire trucks outside the home.
"It's sad, it's sad," neighbor Donna Madonia said. "You always get worried about fires."
Video on social media showed flames shooting out of the home and smoke billowing into the sky.
One challenge faced by firefighters was the lack of hydrants in the area, so fire crews had to bring their own water supply to the scene.
Based on preliminary evidence, the state fire marshal's office said the fire does not appear to be suspicious. The exact origin and cause of the fire remain under investigation. The Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.