Four Boston Firefighters Injured Battling Five-Alarmer

A four-alarm fire tore through a Dorchester triple-decker Thursday, injuring four firefighters and sending one family fleeing for their lives.

Boston firefighters responded to the Fairmount Street blaze at 11:12 a.m. after the fire started in the basement and spread through the entire house.

Four firefighters were treated for minor injuries, including smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, during the fire, which took three hours and 140 firefighters to extinguish, according to Deputy Chief Robert Dunderdale.

James Armand, 28, who lives on the first floor told the Herald he had gone out to run errands and returned at about 11 a.m.

"When I came back I heard the alarm going off from outside but I didn't know it was our house," he said. "I got into the house and saw the smoke coming from the vents. As soon as I opened the basement door, smoke came pouring out and pouring out. It just flooded everywhere."

Armand said he woke his mother, Marie Desima, 49, his 20-year-old brother Anthony Ducoste and his 10-year-old son Nyziah Armand and rushed them out of the house. His 15-year-old brother was at work at the time.

His brother Anthony, who he said is scheduled to start his sophomore year at Lynn University in Boca, Fla. next week, lost his laptop, clothes and supplies in the fire.

"He's pretty upset, but he's more worried about my mom," said Armand.

Their mother had a panic attack outside the house and was taken to the hospital by ambulance for an evaluation, Armand said. No residents were injured in the fire.

Kidada Quarles, who lives two houses down from the fire on Washington Street, said, "I smelled smoke and when I went out the whole house was on fire."

Quarles, who firefighters evacuated from her own home, said she saw flames shooting from the windows and doors of the burning home.

Dunderdale said the three-story home sustained about $300,000 in damage and he expects the building, which was too unstable for firefighters to enter, is likely to be condemned.

Said Dunderdale, "The whole roof is burned right off and the the third floor is in danger of collapsing."

McClatchy-Tribune News Service