Woman Rescued From Burning Building in Fall River - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Woman Rescued From Burning Building in Fall River

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By: Melissa Toupin

mtoupin@abc6.com

A dramatic rescue in Fall River. A woman escaping her burning apartment building clings to the fire escape hoping for help. The woman was trapped and screaming for help as flames and smoke filled her triple decker.

That's when a stranger rushed to her rescue. She was carried down to safety by fire fighters. The heroic rescue caught on cell phone video. 

"She wouldn't come down, on the balcony. She just stood there. She was nervous. She was in shock," said neighbor Lucy Gouveia.  

As fire tore through the Rodman Street apartment building Gouveia's brother, 37-year-old Eric Gouveia, jumped into action. He climbed the fire escape to the woman's 3rd floor apartment.  

"The fire department had just arrived in time, so he was able to just keep her calm at the moment, keep her up there until they arrived," said Gouveia of her brother.

The woman, in her early 50's, is not being identified. She was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation as fire fighters turned to saving her home.

"Upon arrival we had heavy fire and smoke on the first floor. And smoke showing on the 2nd and 3rd floor," said Fall River Fire Department District Chief Ambrose Smith.

 The fire, which started in a common room on the first floor, was put out in just under half and hour.

13 tenants, including two children, were displaced in the blaze.

"I'm speechless, really. I never expected to see anything like this in my homes, but it happens," said Eric Chagas who grew up in the house. His father owns the building.

The cause of the fire is under investigation tonight.

The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents. 

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