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Hoarding conditions slowed Mass. firefighters during fatal fire

Two Worcester firefighters were injured while fighting a fire that claimed two occupants

By Ryan Mancini

WORCESTER, Mass. — When battling a devastating house fire in Worcester that left two people dead and two firefighters injured, “hoarding conditions” slowed the firefighters’ progress, Assistant Fire Chief Adam Roche told MassLive on Wednesday.

Worcester Fire Department responded to the structure fire at approximately 11:30 p.m. on May 28, with reports of people trapped in the building, according to a release from the city manager’s office. The triple-decker building is off Main Street near Clark University and the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester.

Although firefighters had the fire under control within 20 minutes, Roche told MassLive, they were faced with one challenge. Hoarding conditions hampered how quickly firefighters could knock out the flames.

It was not immediately clear what items were being hoarded inside the home, but this was also being investigated, Roche said.

Firefighters found the first floor had “heavy fire with conditions deteriorating” and began extinguishing the flames immediately, the release said.

As firefighters searched the building, they found two people who they then immediately brought to Worcester EMS to be taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to the city’s statement. Despite efforts to revive them, both of the people died.

Four adults and three children were displaced.

The fire remains under investigation.

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