Cape Wide News for Tuesday November 1st, 2011
Hyannis fire update: Burn victim flown to Boston hospital, Halloween display may be to blame
HYANNIS - Investigators pored over the charred remains of the massive blaze that broke out overnight at the Hyannis House Apartments on West Main Street. A preliminary investigation is pointing to a Halloween display as a likely cause. The display reportedly consisted of lights and hay bales. The woman living in that third floor apartment suffered burns over 80 percent of her body. Helen Levesque, 84, was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital and then MedFlighted to a Boston hospital. Five or six others including two police officers were evaluated for smoke inhalation or stress. All are expected to fully recover. Some residents of undamaged units in the complex have been allowed back in. The Red Cross is assisting others with temporary shelter. Some 65 firefighters responded to the fire scene. (see related story below).
Late Tuesday afternoon the Fire Marshal's office released this statement: State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Fire Chief Harold S. Brunelle said last night’s fire at 290 West Main Street in Hyannis started in a Halloween display on a third floor deck. An elderly woman who lived in the apartment was seriously injured in the fire and has been transported to a Boston trauma center. Five other civilians and two police officers were also transported to hospital. One hundred tenants were evacuated during the fire in the 110-unit building and 21 remain displaced from their homes. Fourteen units were damaged during the fire and the estimated loss is between $800,000 and $1 million. The fire is being jointly investigated by the Hyannis Fire Department, the Barnstable Police Department and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Investigators are looking into several possibly accidental ignition sources that could have ignited the hay and clothing that was part of the outdoor Halloween display. While the building did not have sprinklers, nor was it required to, the automatically closing fire doors helped to prevent the spread of smoke throughout the building, giving the older adult residents increased time to escape to safety.
Reporting by Tim Caldwell/CWN,material from Mass Department of Fire Services used in this report; photos by Frank F. Paparo/CWN
4-alarm fire at Hyannis apartment complex
HYANNIS - Firefighters battled a 4-alarm blaze at the Hyannis House Apartments at 290 West Main Street on the corner of Pitchers Way overnight. Hyannis Deputy Fire Chief Dean Melanson told WXTK firefighters pulled one person from the building suffering from burns who was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital (audio available). Several more ambulances were called to the scene and 5 or 6 other occupants were taken to CCH for evaluation of smoke inhalation or stress. Two police officers who helped evacuate residents were also treated. In all, about 100 people, mostly elderly, were evacauted from the large three-story "H" shaped complex. Firefighters were alerted to the fire by an automatitic alarm around 11:20 p.m. A police cruiser confirmed the blaze minutes later. Firefighers from as far away as Wellfleet were either on scene or covering neighboring fire stations. The Red Cross is assisting displaced residents with temporary shelter. The State Fire Marshal's office was called to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire.
Reporting by Tim CaldwellCWN and Matt Pitta/WXTK; Photos by CWN associate John P. Carroll
Kitchen fire in Sandwich
SANDWICH - Firefighters were called to a kitchen fire at 23 Picadilly Road about 6:45 p.m. The fire was out on arrival but crews had to ventilate heavy smoke. No injuries were reported.
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