Back-To-Back Fires Take Toll On Small Town Massachusetts Fire Department

Fire Chief Ron Therrien said the damage might not have been so great if he had more firefighters to respond to the blazes.

Everyone got out alive and without any serious injury from both fires.

Some residents in the buildings hit by fire lost close to everything, while others were able to retain some or all of their belongings. It all depended on how much smoke, fire and water reached their home.

"We got a couple things out of the second floor," Voyer said.

On Monday, Betsy Harding and her family moved their belongings out of the first-floor apartment on Nichols Street where she's lived for 13 years.

Clothes and furniture were stacked up with old photographs and a large dollhouse -- all items that survived the smoke damage and the water which flooded the building.

"It was coming out of here like the Colorado (River) last night," Harding said.

Harding said Russ Croteau, the building's manager, was helping her find another place to live while she stayed at her daughter's home.

Harris said the local branch of the Red Cross was strained by fires on two nights in a row. It cost about $7,000 just to provide food, shelter, clothing, and counseling in the immediate aftermath, she said.

"These units were all destroyed -- fully destroyed. They've lost everything, from their photographs to their clothes to their toothbrushes," Harris said.

"It was actually pretty mild (weather) last night," she added Monday. "But people didn't have coats. Some of them were in their slippers."