Massachusetts Firefighters Say They're Understaffed

BOSTON --

Tough questions are being asked following Saturday's massive, deadly apartment fire in Gloucester.

Despite valiant attempts, firefighters weren't able to pull resident Robert Taylor, 70, to safety.

The ladder truck sent to the fire Saturday around midnight had just one firefighter on board.

Gloucester fire officials said that's not enough staff, but their hands are tied. Back in 2004, voters did not approve a tax override.

"Because of budget constraints, the city has decided that there is no overtime money. So, instead of hiring at overtime, which the city can't do right now, when we get below 17 we start closing one station at a time," Gloucester Deputy Fire Chief Phil Dench said.

Fifteen firefighters were on duty Saturday morning. Union minimums call for 17.

Meanwhile, those who knew the victim are remembering the grandfather as a kind man with a generous heart.

His body has still not been recovered from the rubble.

Meanwhile, the Gloucester High School Docksiders set up a fund to benefit the displaced people of the Lorraine Apartments that burned Saturday.

Donations may be sent to : LORRAINE APARTMENT FUND, c/o Rockport National Bank, 4 Parker St., Gloucester, Ma 01930

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Related: 8-Alarm Fire Ravages Massachusetts Buildings

Goldfeder: Poor Staffing = Deadly Outcomes?

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