ORANGE, MASS.: A three-alarm fire in Orange late Wednesday night claimed the life of one individual and left another with serious injuries, according to authorities.
Orange Fire Chief James Young and State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine initially reported that firefighters were dispatched to a residence on West River Street at 11:49 p.m. in response to a fire. Upon arrival, crews encountered intense flames at the rear of the house and received information that one occupant was trapped inside.
Swiftly, the rescue teams entered the building and located the occupant, an elderly individual, who needed immediate medical attention before being transported to the hospital. Another occupant, also an elderly adult, received medical care and was subsequently transferred to Boston hospitals, as confirmed by state and local authorities. Fortunately, two other adults residing in the house managed to escape unharmed.
Neighbors said the family bred dogs and had about 20 dogs at the home, including a litter of puppies. While several dogs were rescued from the residence, sadly, several others perished in the fire. Neighbor Pat Seeley said, “I watched them carry them out of the house by the scruffs of their necks. And it didn’t look like they were alive, but they were. It’s just happened so fast.”
Chief Young expressed his gratitude to the mutual aid partners who assisted in the firefighting efforts, emphasizing their primary concern for the two seriously injured community members. Tragically, an update later on Thursday afternoon revealed that one of the injured individuals had passed away due to her injuries. The second injured individual remained hospitalized on Thursday night but was expected to recover.
“This is a deeply sorrowful day for the victim’s loved ones and the entire community,” Chief Young expressed. “On behalf of the Orange Fire Department, we extend our heartfelt condolences for this devastating loss of a loved one and a family home.”
Officials reported that the house was completely destroyed, resulting in the displacement of all its occupants. Although an investigation was ongoing as of Thursday afternoon, there were no suspicions of foul play. Additionally, officials noted that the wood stoves used for heating were severely damaged in the blaze.