1. #1
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    Default Boston Fire Burns 14 Buildings, Hydrants Frozen

    BOSTON -- A massive seven-alarm blaze in downtown Lawrence that burned at least 14 buildings on Monday is being considered suspicious, officials said.

    The fire near the intersection of Parker and Market streets started at about 2:30 a.m. and destroyed an entire city block of apartments, garages and commercial space early Monday morning. One of the buildings destroyed was a home for special needs residents. Officials said they all got out safely.

    "Currently, this has escalated to 14 buildings, 26 occupied units, two commercial occupancies. We also have a program here for mentally challenged individuals, and we just lost this building," said Lawrence Fire Chief Peter Takvorian.


    Officials said the fire started in the empty Millennium Club and quickly spread to nearby buildings.

    "It was an unoccupied nightclub that was being renovated. That is where this fire started. An ambulance company going by noticed flames on the second and third floors," Takvorian said.

    Takvorian said investigators consider the fire to be suspicious.

    "Absolutely it is suspicious. We have a task force here. We investigate every suspicious fire in this city," Takvorian said.

    Officials said freezing temperatures and frozen hydrants hampered their attempts to fight the fire. It took more than four hours to contain the blaze.

    "It is a very difficult fight right now. We are fighting water pressure losses and a pretty good wind, cold temperatures. We have approximately nine out-of-town companies that are on scene, mutual aid that is helping us fight this fire," Takvorian said.

    At least one person was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. It is unclear if there were any other injuries. About 200 residents were evacuated.

    "The house was completely burned by the time we woke up. The Millennium Club was completely engulfed in flames and the walls were falling down. That is the noise we heard," resident Santos Aceredo said.

    "We are just happy to be alive and everybody else that got out. This is all material that can be replaced -- but the lives cannot," resident Diana Legro said.

    "(Firefighters) told us to get out because there was a fire. When I was going out through the window, I saw that there as a fire in the house and on the house," said resident Darlenny Morrabel, 10.

    Lawrence Building Inspector Greg Arvanitis said some of the buildings that did not burn were also damaged.

    "They may have mild damage, smoke, water. And from what I am gathering, about five or six buildings down Market and Springfield street are in question," Arvanitis said.

    Lawrence officials said this is the worst fire they can remember in the city.

    "I've never seen a fire like this in Lawrence. I have lived here pretty much all my life. Back in the 1980s when we had a lot of single-dwelling fires, or structure fires, it was kind of spread out. But nothing to this extent that I have seen," Arvanitis said

    The state fire marshal is at the scene, as well as the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

    The Red Cross is helping displaced residents, but they said they do not know how many people have lost their homes. A shelter has been set up at the South Lawrence East Elementary School.

    Several roads near the fire were closed, and drivers were asked to seek alternate routes. Parker Street from Merrimack to South Union streets, Salem Street, Springfield Street and Market Street are closed, SmartRoute's Jeff Larson said.

    Copyright 2008 by TheBostonChannel.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
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    Ya beat me to it! LOL (Just glad I checked first....)

    Massive Fire Rips Through 14 Buildings. Officials Say Fire Considered 'Suspicious'

    UPDATED: 8:10 am EST January 21, 2008

    BOSTON -- Fire crews in Lawrence are at the scene of a seven-alarm blaze that started at about 2:30 a.m., television station WCVB reported.

    At least 14 buildings containing both residential and commercial space were destroyed in the fire. One of the buildings is a home for special needs residents. Officials said they all got out safely.

    "Currently, this has escalated to 14 buildings, 26 occupied units, two commercial occupancies. We also have a program here for mentally challenged individuals, and we just lost this building," said Lawrence Fire Chief Peter Takvorian.

    Officials said the fire started in the empty Millennium Club and quickly spread to nearby buildings.

    "It was an unoccupied nightclub that was being renovated. That is where this fire started. An ambulance company going by noticed flames on the second and third floors," Takvorian said.

    Takvorian said investigators consider the fire to be suspicious.

    "Absolutely it is suspicious. We have a task force here. We investigate every suspicious fire in this city," Takvorian said.

    Officials said the weather and frozen hydrants are hampering their attempts to fight the fire. It took more than four hours to contain the blaze.

    "It is a very difficult fight right now. We are fighting water pressure losses and a pretty good wind, cold temperatures. We have approximately nine out-of-town companies that are on scene, mutual aid that is helping us fight this fire," Takvorian said.

    At least one person was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. It is unclear if there were any other injuries.

    Several roads in the area of the fire are closed.

    The state fire marshal is at the scene, as well as the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

    The Red Cross is helping displaced residents, but they said they do not know how many people have lost their homes.

    Distributed by Internet Broadcasting. [/b]


    Well done to the Ambulance crew who noted the fire.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 01-21-2008 at 11:53 AM.
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    Pretty sure that is not Boston. Every little town over there gets lumped in to Bahston.

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    North of Boston.

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    It's this city...


    "LAWRENCE - Two firehouses and 20 firefighters are on the line if the City Council does not approve a higher tax rate and allow sewer and water rate increases, fire Chief Peter Takvorian said last night..."

    Awesome, huh?

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    Back in the 1980's.. Lawrence had closed stations and laid off firefghters to balance a budget.... and it was tabbed with the nickname "the Dresden of the Merrimack Valley".. it wasn't unusual to have 2 or three multiple alarm fires a night there with working fires also going on and extensive mutual aid.

    The arson problem was so bad the State Fire Marshal set up a satellite office at Lawrence Fire HQ.

    Keep the Brothers from Lawrence in your thoughts.. I have a feeling they are going to be really busy if the cuts go through.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 01-21-2008 at 03:51 PM.
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    The firefighters fate will be known Tuesday night at 7 PM when the hearing will be held for tax and fee increases. Based on the City Councils track record of refusing to do this, probably means the layoffs/closings will happen. You would hope that this fire and the previous one would open their eyes, but I would not count on it.

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    Lawrence is a pretty nasty town. No offense to the fire fighters that work there. I have heard stories from people that used to live there about lots of crime.
    Hello. Fire dept.. You light'em, We fight'em!

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    We could afford to hire plenty of firefighters if we didn't waste hundreds of billions on welfare programs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ha11igan View Post
    We could afford to hire plenty of firefighters if we didn't waste hundreds of billions on welfare programs.
    You mean welfare for corporations, contractors and funny money thrown at foreign countries, right?


    "LAWRENCE - Two firehouses and 20 firefighters are on the line if the City Council does not approve a higher tax rate and allow sewer and water rate increases, fire Chief Peter Takvorian said last night..."

    Where are the people of depressed areas similiar to Lawrence supposed to get the cash for higher tax rates?
    Incomes are going down, layoffs going up and someone wants more tax money.
    At the state and local levels, government budgets and spending need to be examined closer. Cut the waste, then seek tax increases.
    You can want or need tax increases. But if the money isn't there from the people or business, it isn't there.

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    Dadman,
    First of all, most of the people there that have little money rent. The actual homeowners have enough money for a couple of extra bucks a month in taaxes. They charge enough for rent to begin with. What is your solution? Just go ahead and lay them all off? Put citizens and firefighters lives at risk. Let me guess your rockin' the Obama '08 for president sticker? Get real.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MassFireGuy View Post
    Dadman,
    First of all, most of the people there that have little money rent. The actual homeowners have enough money for a couple of extra bucks a month in taaxes. They charge enough for rent to begin with. What is your solution? Just go ahead and lay them all off? Put citizens and firefighters lives at risk. Let me guess your rockin' the Obama '08 for president sticker? Get real.
    1. I've never been to Lawrence, MA nor do I plan on it. Closest I've been is Boston, twice, some years ago. One work trip at the airport, one quickie sight-seeing trip.
    2. I don't know the in's and out's of the Lawrence economy. I'm not aware of the renters, industry, business or lack thereof.
    3. The breif descriptions here give me the impression of a depressed blighted area. In the past, I have lived in communities with depressed economies. One community had it's whole FD shut down due to no cash. I don't want to see any FD shutdown or any FF's laid off. Not a good situation, for the public and affected FD.
    4. The area I live in has the slow certain signs of a downward economic cycle. House sales are stagnant and increased word of mouth of who's losing their job or being able to find one that pays much.
    5. The FD I belong to will be asking for a tax increase very soon to bail us out of our crappy situation. I've been told by citizens who have freinds and relatives on our dept. that our asking for an increase won't fly.
    6. You ask what my solution is? I repeat, look for waste. Example: In any community, does a school district really need all those new busses? Is the FD heavy staffed? Are there reduntent local govt dept's and personnel?
    Cut waste. Ask for a tax increase. Both are short term. Long term, get economic stimulus plans to make a community desireable for business and industry.
    If there's no room for new business or they don't want to come, be prepared to make do with what you got.

    What's the tax increase being asked for by Lawrence? I don't know. I don't know if the citizens of Lawrence can afford it or not.
    What is the main economic base for Lawrence? Small business, any industry or is it based on rental collection and small convenience stores?

    The government of Lawrence needs to examine if the money can be found elsewhere before having the people to cough up more, renters or owners alike.

    At the end of the day, bottom line, where's the money coming from?

    Finally, I consider myself a realist. I recommend that you get real.
    I don't want to see anyone lose a life due to poor staffing or coverage and I don't want to see anyone lose their job.
    I'm not " rockin' " an Obama '08 sticker, nor do I have any leanings toward Hillaryious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dadman View Post
    You mean welfare for corporations, contractors and funny money thrown at foreign countries, right?


    "LAWRENCE - Two firehouses and 20 firefighters are on the line if the City Council does not approve a higher tax rate and allow sewer and water rate increases, fire Chief Peter Takvorian said last night..."

    Where are the people of depressed areas similiar to Lawrence supposed to get the cash for higher tax rates?
    Incomes are going down, layoffs going up and someone wants more tax money.
    At the state and local levels, government budgets and spending need to be examined closer. Cut the waste, then seek tax increases.
    You can want or need tax increases. But if the money isn't there from the people or business, it isn't there.

    The answer is to cut spending on non-essential things like public housing and the like.

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    Wondering how the budget hearing turned out last night. Weren't the city council or whatever the governing body is there supposed to vote on a tax increase last night (Tuesday) or face closing 2 houses and laying off 20 jakes? Does anyone have any info?
    Leroy140 (yes, THAT Leroy)
    Fairfield, CT, Local 1426
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