New Bedford, MA
Date: 11 May 1999
Time of initial alarm: 1754
Total alarms: General
Address: 229,233,235,239 Sawyer St.

A 1st. alarm assignment of 1 district chief, 3 engines, 1 ladder, and 1 heavy rescue were dispatched to a reported working fire in a 3 story tenement building. Upon arrival, smoke and fire were visible on the third floor and attic of the original fire building and was spreading to an adjacent 3 story tenement less than 6 feet away. The distict chief ordered a 2nd. alarm bringing in an additional district chief, 2 engines, and 1 more ladder. As fire threatend two more 3 story structures (on side 2 of the original fire building ond on side 4 of the exposure), a general alarm was ordered. This added 2 more engines and 1 more ladder (the entire compliment of manned department apparatus) and called back off duty firefighters to the scene and to man reserve apparatus. Mutual aid companies from Fairhaven, Dartmouth, and Freetown were called to man city stations and a heavy rescue unit from Fairhaven responded to the fire to supply additional lighting and assist in filling SCBA cylinders after the New Bedford cascade truck was depleted. One firefighter was treated and released from the hospital after receiving an electrical shock from a live wire in the fire building. The fire was declared under control at 2050 and a fire watch crew remained on scene until 0600 the next morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the fire prevention bureau. Twenty families were evacuated during the course of the fire and eight families are now homeless and being aided by the American Red Cross. Donations are being accepted at:
American Red Cross New Bedford Chapter
61 Belleville Rd.
New Bedford, MA 02745
Please make check payable to New Bedford Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.