QUINCY, Mass. --
A father, an infant and a 1-year-old child were killed in a two-alarm fire at a multi-family apartment house in Quincy overnight.
Firefighters were called to the scene of the basement apartment fire in north Quincy early Wednesday that claimed the lives of the three who were living in the house on Robertson Street.
The fire at the six-apartment house broke out before 3 a.m. at 100 Robertson St.
"When you get that call at that time of the morning, you brace yourself," said Quincy Acting Chief Joseph Barron.
The three perished in the fire after getting trapped in the basement, fire officials said.
"It seems the fire had significant headway before we arrived. It was intense for several minutes until we were able to make this one rescue," Quincy Dep. Chief Gary Smith said.
One person, the children's mother, survived the blaze and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries, the fire chief said. Her husband and two sons were killed.
"We had heavy fire conditions in the basement. We had confirmed entrapment. We went to an all-hands rescue. We were able to remove some victims. Unfortunately, we have three confirmed fatalities and we have one adult in Mass. General at the burn center," Quincy Deputy Chief Jeff Starr said.
Authorities said another 15 to 20 people lived in the building, but the rest escaped the blaze uninjured.
"It was very hard to see getting out. I never actually saw flames, just a lot of smoke," neighbor Mark Pierce said.
One of the family's neighbors tried banging on their apartment door before he was forced to flee.
"I saw the smoke from the door -- very heavy. So I smacked the door very hard and then called the police," neighbor Mostafa Oubtrou said.
Some residents said they did not hear smoke alarms go off during the fire, they only smelled the smoke and saw the flames.
"My wife had been down there to visit the mom, you know, when she came home from the hospital and she commented that it was very, very warm down there and we wondered if they had a space heater or something to that effect," Pierce said.
The names of the victims have not been released. The cause remains under investigation.
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