Mayor calls for fire dept. funding after near miss

The city honored three firefighters injured at a structure fire, while officials said it could have been worse had staffing been cut

By Kevin P. O'Connor
The Herald News

FALL RIVER, Mass. — The fire at 724 Plymouth Ave. on March 7, and the narrow escape by three firefighters trapped inside the burning building, is proof of the city’s need to maintain fire department staffing levels, city officials said.

City and fire officials gathered Tuesday in the Central Station on Bedford Street to present awards to Firefighters Jeff Mello and Robert Forand and Fire Lt. Paul Machado for their work on Heavy Rescue One. The three men were inside the multi-family building, searching after being told there were people trapped inside, when the back of the building collapsed, momentarily trapping them in the fire. 

Machado and Mello were seriously burned and had to jump from a second-story window to escape the flames. Forand was able to escape down a staircase with less serious burns.

Full story: Fall River mayor says firefighters' death-defying escape proves fire dept. needs funding

Fall River honors brave firefighters

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