Off-duty firefighter evacuates 200 when building catches fire

An off-duty Auburn firefighter was having dinner at the town's American Legion Post helped evacuate 200 guests during a three-alarm blaze.

Jacqueline Tempera, Springfield, Mass.

An off-duty Auburn firefighter who was having dinner at the town’s American Legion Post Friday helped evacuate nearly 200 guests as a “fast-moving” three-alarm fire destroyed the building.

Auburn firefighters responded to the Chester P. Tuttle Post on Bancroft Street at about 8 p.m., after receiving a 911 call about a fire in the kitchen.

“At the time of the 911 call the building was occupied with a little over 200 people eating dinner on the first floor of the building and patrons in the bar on the basement level,” Auburn Fire said in a statement.

More than 200 people were eating dinner on the first floor of the building when the fire broke out, according to firefighters. With the help of the off-duty firefighter and others everyone safely evacuated.

The third alarm was called at about 8:11 p.m. and firefighters were ordered out of the building because of “deteriorating conditions.” Minutes later the roof collapsed. No injuries were reported.

"With the amount of people in the building at the time of the fire we are extremely lucky tonight that we did not have any serious injuries and that everyone was able to escape the building quickly," Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. said.

The fire is not believed to be suspicious and is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Firefighers from Oxford, Millbury, Leicester, Charlton, Webster, Sturbridge and Worcester helped at the scene.


Media release for the 3 alarm fire at the Chester P. Tuttle, American Legion Post.

Posted by Auburnmassfire on Friday, March 15, 2019


©2019, Springfield, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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