1 dead, 2 missing, 2 seriously injured after New Bedford housing complex burns

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WNLE) — Firefighters confirm one person is dead, two people are unaccounted for and at least 24 are displaced after a fire broke out in a New Bedford housing complex Tuesday.

Fire officials identified the deceased as a male. No further description was immediately available.

According to New Bedford fire officials, crews began battling a fire on Acushnet Avenue that started just after 3 p.m.

I believe we had 20 firefighters in the building, four or five crews doing searches as well putting the fire out,” Scott Kruger, the New Bedford Fire chief, said.

WCVB-TV shared areal video of the building where the fire erupted on Tuesday.

ABC 6 News crews were on the scene where firefighters were hosing a four-story building, home to 32 units while smoke billowed through city streets.

The fire chief said a building this size posed challenges when trying to rescue people who were escaping by hanging out of windows, or by jumping.

“The size of this building and the amount of the people, it really is a different magnitude, it’s a different scene, we have people that are jumping out of windows and if you’re on a ladder, you’re operating a ladder, you’re going to have to prioritize who am I going to send this letter to first,” Chief Kruger added.

Fire officials confirmed at least five people were hospitalized for their injuries. Two of the hospitalized are reportedly in serious condition.

Fire crews said they were were able to rescue about a half dozen people but are still searching for others.

The New Bedford Fire Chief said he expects they’ll be on the scene for a while, most likely through the night as well.

The Mayor was on scene Tuesday night, saying, “we just want to extend our sympathies to the families who were affected, and obviously those who lost a loved one today, as well as all those who were displaced, their lives were turned upside down,” Jon Mitchell said.

Hotspots and patches of flames continued appearing throughout the building even after the bulk of the blaze was put out.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

This is a developing story and will be updated as information is released.

Categories: Massachusetts, New Bedford, News