For Immediate Release: 8/30/2017 8:06 am
Worcester, MA (August 29, 2017) - Three city firefighters will be honored Wednesday in a ceremony at City Hall for their efforts to save lives during a house fire early Tuesday.
The ceremony will also include the promotion of three separate Worcester firefighters.
WHAT: WFD Promotion/Commendation Ceremony - WATCH VIDEO
WHERE: Levi Lincoln Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall, 455 Main Street, Worcester
WHEN: 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 30th
Firefighters were called early Tuesday morning to the fast moving fire in a multi-family home at 16 Grosvenor Street. They found heavy smoke and fire from the side of the building on the second floor and noticed a woman on the roof clinging to a dormer window directly above the fire.
As fire vented through the second floor windows to engulf the roof where the woman was standing, she began to crawl up the roof toward the front of the building.
Firefighters from Ladder 3 were perfectly positioned in front of the building and acted swiftly, raising the ladder to the roof and making a quick rescue. The woman was unharmed. One firefighter suffered minor burns and was treated and released from a local hospital.
The rescue was hampered, however, by the presence of an illegal apartment unit on the building's third floor. The unauthorized unit contained an unpermited kitchen and only one method of egress, making it unsafe for both residents and firefighters.
Firefighters would have preferred to make the rescue from the interior of the building, but were unable to do so because the one method of entry, a staircase from the second floor, was impassible due to smoke and fire, said Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie.
"Illegal apartments have led to the deaths of too many civilians and firefighters," said Chief Lavoie. "The incident we dealt with this morning could have easily led to a tragic outcome. This practice needs to stop."
The City of Worcester reminds all city property owners that any apartment units must comply with Massachusetts building code, and that landlords must have proper inspections done for any apartment conversions. Any violations may be met with fines.
The owner of 16 Grosvenor Street will be cited by the City's Department of Inspectional Services for having an illegal apartment.
"Worcester takes the safety of our residents and our firefighters seriously, and we will do everything in our power to ensure apartments are safe and up to code," said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. "Illegal apartments are dangerous for residents and emergency responders, and they won't be tolerated."
Anyone who wishes to report an illegal apartment can call the City's customer service hotline at 508-929-1300.
Being honored for the Grosvenor Street fire are: Lt. William Dowd, Firefighter Ronald Wylie and Firefighter Daniel Gagne.
Being promoted are: Fire Fighter William Mosley promoted to Lieutenant; Lt. Terrence Baudin promoted to Captain; and Capt. Gary Fleischer, promoted to District Chief.