Massachusetts Firefighter Loses Home in Blaze

Aug. 25, 2008
The firefighter's friends who helped his family build the home 22 years ago said they would help them rebuild.

MALDEN, Mass. --

Investigators are looking closely at three suspicious fires that broke out early Friday morning in Malden.

NewsCenter 5's Steve Lacy reported that one of the fire victims is a veteran Malden firefighter.

"It was a little surreal, you know? You never think that, you know, you're father's a firefighter your whole life and have to respond and see your own house, you know?" said Daniel Wilson.

That is exactly what happen in Malden when firefighter Fred Wilson received a frantic call from his son that their Gilbert Street home had been gutted by a suspicious, early-morning fire.

"If I wasn't on vacation, I would have been here. This is the same group I normally work with," Fred Wilson said.

The blaze is one of three suspicious fires in the neighborhood currently being eyed by investigators. Two doors down, someone torched a plastic storage bin and dresser outside a home. Around the corner, a stack of newspaper was set ablaze.

"At this particular time, we don't know if they are related -- that is all part of the investigation," one fire official said.

"It is a good thing we weren't home because we would not have made it down the stairs," Fred Wilson said.

"The devastation is throughout the whole house right up to the third floor. It's amazing. Everything is covered in black. And to see what he sees every day is pretty shocking," said Joanie Wilson.

Two cats were lost in the fire, but one of the cats woke Daniel Wilson, alerting him to the fire.

"I tried to come back in to call the animals, but the flames and smoke was just billowing out," he said.

"All my friends are here, and my family, and my neighbors are wonderful. We will get through this," Joanie Wilson said.

"I have been a firefighter for 28 years and I wonder where people go to live after a fire. I guess I am going to find out now," Fred Wilson said.

The Wilson's friends who helped the family build the home 22 years ago said they would help them rebuild.

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