2 Mass. firefighters injured in 3-alarm fire

Firefighters requested mutual aid support from surrounding towns due to the challenges posed by the newly constructed additions to the home


By Marc Larocque
The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass.

BROCKTON, Mass. — Two firefighters were injured and the effort to extinguish a fire in Brockton on Monday morning was complicated by exterior structures that were added onto a home on the east side, including a small, lop-sided carport that was sheltering a front-end loader, according to the fire department.

Now, the 52 Sylvestre St. home is a total loss and will be bulldozed by the city, said the head of the building department. Building Superintendent James Casieri said the home was already subject to legal action for code violations by the city, referring further questions to the Law Department, which did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Fire officials said the building is a total loss. (Photo/Brockton Fire Department)
Fire officials said the building is a total loss. (Photo/Brockton Fire Department)

"We were in court with them," said Casieri, reached shortly after the fire. "The house is a loss. It will have to be removed. We're going to be demolishing it."

Brockton Fire Deputy Chief Jeffrey Marchetti said the three people who lived there were displaced and were being put up by the American Red Cross. At least two of them were home at the time and evacuated the building safely, Marchetti said.

The fire went to three alarms, requiring mutual aid from surrounding towns, due to the difficulty of the firefighting operation caused by the additions constructed onto the house, Marchetti said. A front-end loader could be seen parked in the makeshift carport built outside, and Marchetti said there was other construction equipment stored there as well. Marchetti said it was a heavy fire on the main part of the single-family home, extending to exterior structures that were attached to the house.

"There was difficult access due to the additions," Marchetti said. "It really wasn't a big fire. The building itself was a smaller building. The reason it went to three alarms was because of the difficult access. The main body of the fire was put out in about an hour. ... There were void spaces and pockets of fire we had difficulty getting access to. It took a while to get a handle on."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Marchetti said.

Two firefighters were injured at the scene, including one who was eventually transported to Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, suffering from heat exhaustion, Marchetti said. The other suffered minor burns that were treated and evaluated, but the firefighter remained on duty, Marchetti said.

Firefighters from Holbrook helped at the scene providing mutual, while firefighters from Whitman, Abington, West Bridgewater and Stoughton provided station coverage for Brockton.

This wasn't the first time that Brockton firefighters faced difficulties at 52 Sylvestre St. In March 2015, firefighters saw smoke coming from a piece of power equipment in the backyard of the house, but could not get back there because two pit bulls were loose. The Fire Department said firefighters had to wait for the animal control officer to come before they could investigate the smoke during that incident, but found no fire inside the house.

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©2019 The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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