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State Of Emergency: Exploding Transformers, House Fires, Downed Trees And Wires Stretch Brockton Firefighters Thin During Nor'easter

BROCKTON (CBS) - The Brockton Fire Department was stretched really thin during the nor'easter early Wednesday, responding to calls for downed trees and wires and two fires at the same time. The storm caused so much damage, Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan declared a state of emergency, saying, the storm created an "imminent threat to public safety with a high likelihood of hazardous conditions, flooding, downed trees, widespread power outages, and property damage."

As of Wednesday night, the Brockton Fire Department said it had responded to more than 300 calls.

One of those fires was at a house on Pine Street that went up in flames after transformers exploded. The home is completely charred but everyone escaped safely.

"It was scary. It was scary. When I saw it, it was like 'wow that really happened.' I felt a little helpless," Anthony Dent-Deal told WBZ-TV.

He left for work around 5:30 a.m. and felt like he stepped into a scene in a movie, with sparks flying and flames roaring as three transformers blew in front of him.

"The fire started right there in the living room," Dent-Deal said. "I was shook you know. Not much I can say about it, but I was scared."

He feels terrible for his neighbors.

"To think you went to sleep thinking it's going to be a normal day tomorrow and then come to find out your house is burned down, you know, so yeah it's tough for them," he told WBZ.

Firefighters were already battling a massive fire at an apartment building on North Main Street in Brockton. The wind fueled the flames and sent embers the size of footballs flying off the building.

"It was a little dicey at that point," said Fire Chief Brian Nardelli. "It got one of the buildings going. We were able to put it out. The people had already evacuated the building."

The chief said the conditions made it one of the most difficult fires he's responded to in 25 years.

"Night time heavy wind, heavy rain pushing everything everywhere. Then another fire in the city was significant at the same time, really stretched our resources," he told WBZ.

As many as 25 people are looking for new homes following the North Main Street fire.


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