18 Fire Departments Respond to Blaze at Concord, Mass. Home; 1 Firefighter Injured

The Concord Fire Chief said excessive heat played a huge factor in the response to the Sudbury Road home

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Approximately 65 firefighters from numerous Massachusetts communities were called to help battle a fire Sunday night at a large, three-story home in Concord as a heat wave rolled on across the region.

The Concord Fire Department first received a call from a resident of the Sudbury Road home regarding a fire on a second-floor porch around 9 p.m. A neighbor then called and confirmed the fire at the multi-family house.



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Once fire crews knocked down the exterior fire on the rear porch, they found flames had extended to the second and third floors on the interior, as well. The fire was running the walls, Concord Fire Chief Thomas Judge said, noting that the old structure presented an added challenge.

"Balloon-frame construction never helps," he said, guessing the home was built in the early 1900s. "Every wall cavity is a chase for the fire to advance up... it was a stubborn fire to locate."

The fire chief said 18 communities responded to provide mutual aid, including Bedford, Lincoln, Lexington, Weston, Acton, Maynard, Sudbury, Hanscom, Wayland, Littleton, Carlisle, Boxboro, Burlington, Stow, Westford, Chelmsford and Billerica.

Weather played a huge factor in the response, the fire chief said. It was muggy and hot Sunday night, with temperatures across the region still in the 80s after a day where many communities were hovering near 100 degrees.

"Today's weather, the conditions are brutal for just being outside, let alone firefighting," the fire chief said. "The heat just beats the firefighters up that much quicker. They go in, they do what they have to do, and they come out to change bottles, and they're getting no relief even by coming out of the building. Just the excessive heat beats them up very quickly, so we end up needing a lot more help because we have to rotate crews, get people into rehab, and keep people rotating while we're still trying to catch the fire."

One firefighter was taken to Emerson Hospital for heat exhaustion, according to the fire chief. No one else was injured.

There were people home at the time when flames broke out, but everyone had made it out safely by the time firefighters responded, Judge said.

People were asked to avoid the area of Sudbury Road between Main and Thoreau streets to accommodate the on-scene response, which included quite a few fire trucks. The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services said its rehab unit was also on scene to support firefighters.

"The fire ended up going to six alarms, and that's primarily because of the weather tonight," Judge added. "We needed to turn the crews around a lot quicker and get them to rehab a lot quicker just because of the excessive heat."

The fire was knocked down around 10:25 p.m., but crews were still on scene to check for hot spots.

"This was great work by everyone involved to get this fire under control and prevent it from causing more damage," Judge said in a press release. "I want to thank all of our mutual aid partners that responded and helped to put out this fire in these extreme temperatures."

All residents have been displaced by the fire. Judge said the second and third floors of the home sustained significant fire, heat and water damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Concord Fire Department and the state fire marshal's office.

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