Just after 1 p.m. on the afternoon of Friday September 5, Worcester Fire Alarm started to receive calls for a building fire at 20 John Street in the near downtown district of the city.
As Box 16-02 was transmitted the calls kept on coming. Car 3 was still en route to the scene when he got a radio transmission from one of the first alarm ladder companies reporting they could see heavy smoke from a distance.
Companies arrived on scene to find a two-and-a-half story home with heavy fire contained to the attic area.
The fire quickly went to a second alarm and companies tried to make an aggressive attack from the second floor to knock down the flames.
Within due time firefighters where eventually pushed back and the fire was escalated once again this time to a third alarm.
Fire companies then ran a two-and-a-half inch hand line up the stick of Ladder 2 to hit the fire from the outside.
Firefighters continued their fight for over an hour and with high temperatures and high humidity the fire would eventually reach two engines and one ladder over the fourth alarm. This brought in a total of 12 engines and 7 ladders to the scene. Leaving no apparatus left in quarters for the City of Worcester a 4th alarm also brought in a response from about 6 mutual aid companies to cover the stations around the city.
Throughout the fire fight a multitude of firefighters were transported to local hospitals all with heat related injuries.
The last of the fire companies were not clearing the scene until almost 4 hours into the blaze.
There was one civilian home at the time of the blaze that escaped uninjured after trying to remove some of her belongings from the home. A cat was also passed out a second floor window to the roof below were a firefighter used a ground ladder to carry it to safety.