Fire Damages Building Used as Rooming House

May 12, 2011
By

A three family home at 911 Broadway suffered significant fire damage following a two alarm fire at the location on Monday. The home has been boarded up.

A Monday night fire in a Broadway three-decker caused heavy damage to the basement and first floor of the wooden structure.

Firefighters arriving on the scene late Monday night found heavy smoke and fire pouring out of the basement.

Firefighters from the Mill Hill Station, about a block away, evacuated occupants from all three floors and in doing so, firefighters noted evidence of the two upper floors being used as a rooming house.

The fire spread quickly from the basement up a pipe chase and into the top floor apartment.

Everyone got out of the house without injuries, including several pets.

Fourteen adults and 4 children were displaced by the fire, according to Chelsea Fire officials.

An investigation by the fire department’s Investigation Unit revealed the fire started in a dryer vent in the basement in what appeared to be a makeshift apartment, according to fire officials.

An investigation of the upper floors revealed evidence of rooming house condition, the investigators said.

Damage was estimated at about $50,000.

  • As a 30 veteran of the fire department, what doesn’t make
    sense to me is that, in all apartments, we don’t require modular doorway
    identifiers. These new devices provide emergency light at eye level AND down at
    the floor level as smoke fills a space. I recently learned about these new emergency identifiers
    made for the average residence, the Lightsaver, through a fellow retired
    Captain and am thinking, maybe they should be “required” in all
    apartments and other residential buildings. If you want, you can see it at:
    http://www.TheLightThatSavesLives.com.

    I can assure you that it’s not the fire, it’s the smoke that
    kills and getting everyone out fast is job one. Contrary to popular belief,
    fire is not bright! It’s dark as heck above the smoke line and it only takes
    seconds to become hard to see and difficult to get out after a fire starts and
    residents need all the help they can get in these critical seconds; long before
    the fire department can ever get there. We ought to press local government to
    require these; at least for apartments and assisted living facilities.

    Bless all the Firefighters and the Red Cross folks; every
    single one of them.

    -Capn_Hank, Ret.


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