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Video: Aerial ladder used to rescue occupant, FFs trapped in Mass. fire

Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty said the firefighters in the earlier rescue became disoriented

By Bill Carey

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Lawrence firefighters rescued one person over an aerial ladder from the third floor of a burning Victorian-style house on Jan. 19.

Video of the multiple-alarm fire on Salem Street showed the rescue as firefighters fought the fire on the first floor, WCVB reported.

“We had heavy fire in the first floor, extending out the windows into the second floor, heavy smoke throughout the whole building,” Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty said.

Three residents were treated for smoke inhalation. No firefighters were injured during the incident.

Moriarty told NBC Boston the design of the building and the weather made this call a challenge.

“It was extremely tough. It was a lot of fire for a midday fire and it is cold and it gets crowded, and the wind - nothing ever goes in your favor right,” Moriarty said. “The wind in this particular fire was blowing so it was blocking our exit. We could go into the door it just made it that much more difficult to see. Smoke filled the hallways, making it harder to find the doorways, and went right up the stairway.”

Two firefighters who had earlier rescued the trapped occupant also had to be rescued.

“The squad, in their search, became a little disoriented and opened up a window on the third floor,” Moriarity said.

The aerial ladder was then positioned toward the firefighters, allowing them to escape.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.