1 killed, 3 injured in New Bedford fire

Fire tore through a New Bedford apartment building. One man didn't make it out alive. Flames broke out just before five this morning when everyone was sleeping.

The man who was killed was visiting some friends. Three other people who lived there were in the hospital Saturday, including children, but this already horrible scene could have been a whole lot worse.

The Red Cross said someone was walking by, saw the flames, woke people up, and got them out of the building. Thanks to him, everyone who lived there made it out alive. Two of them were flown to the hospital.

Brian Benton woke up to chaos outside his Russell Street window in New Bedford. “I woke up to yelling and just sirens, so I poked my head outside my window outside over there and all the sudden a cop is telling me you have to evacuate your building if anyone else is in that apartment get them out too,” said Benton.

Benton was understandably shaken. He's used to seeing the people who live in the four family home almost every day. Saturday, he wasn't sure if they were okay.

“We could just see the building right here on the side just ablaze,” said Benton, “Fire was just getting worse, smoke was just coming out. We were told to go down there. It was just, it was a mess.”

A 39 year old man who was visiting from Rehoboth never made it out of his friend's apartment. That friend and his two kids, one eight and the other six, were burned and sent to local hospitals.

The Red Cross credited a boyfriend of someone who lived there for saving them. “The boyfriend just happened to be walking by at the time to go to her apartment,” said Rick Guarda of the Red Cross, “That's when they noticed the smoke and got everybody out fortunately.”

The Red Cross is helping 10 people who lived there. Saturday, it looked like the fire started on the second floor where the injured family lived, but fire crews were still investigating. They said the type of building it was made the flames hard to fight.

“The apartments are set up front to back, and so that is sometimes challenging to the firefighters when the stairwells are coming from different directions,” said District Fire Chief James Fortin.

The kids are expected to be okay. Their father was in critical condition Saturday.