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Man Killed In Brighton Triple-Decker Fire

BRIGHTON (CBS) – A man was found dead after a four-alarm fire at a triple-decker in Brighton Thursday morning, and investigators determined later in the day that the fire started with a short circuit in the kitchen.

Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn initially said it started in the basement or first floor at 105 Murdock Street around 7:30 a.m.

Brighton Fire
Flames shot out of a window of the home on Murdock Street. (Photo courtesy: Boston Fire Department)

It quickly spread to the roof and then jumped to the triple-decker next door at 107 Murdock, but firefighters brought that under control quickly.

Brighton Fire
The fire started in the home on the right and spread to the home in the middle. (WBZ-TV)

Five firefighters and four people were treated at the scene or taken to the hospital, the fire department said.

None of those injuries was reported to be life-threatening.

When firefighters went back into 105 Murdock to search the home for a second time, they found a man dead in the basement, according to Finn.

Investigators say he lived in the attic of the house with other members of an extended family. Witnesses saw him helping others out of home during the fire.

The fire department said a language barrier may have hindered their notification that the victim was still unaccounted for after the fire was extinguished.

Thursday afternoon, fire investigators announced that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit in the first floor kitchen. The medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death.

Joseph Finn
Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn talks to reporters, Aug. 21, 2014. (Photo by Bree Sison-WBZ-TV)

One man who lives in the neighborhood said that as flames were rising from the home, a girl became trapped until she was eventually rescued by a contractor.

"There was a young girl up on the third floor on a ledge, just needing rescue," neighbor Ryan Tryburgh said.

"I was scared for her. I knew she had to either jump or, there was a lot of smoke coming out the window, so time was running out."

Before firefighters arrived, neighbor Mike Grant put up a ground ladder that was used by two residents from the top floor. The fire department said the Grant's assistance "no doubt" saved lives.

"We were able to stretch it out all the way and just get to where her foot came to the ladder and was able to perch her on my shoulder and lower her down," Grant said. "She didn't say anything. She was very scared, she was shaking really."

Grant was the first to arrive at the scene. "We went up the stairs the smoke was just terrible," Grant said. "It wasn't something we could handle for too long. Sure enough a little boy came down stumbling through the stairs in the darkness. He had a little blood on his mouth like he fell somewhere on the way down and we got him out."

Damage at 105 Murdock Street is estimated at $700,000 while 107 Murdock Street is at $150,000.

It's not clear yet if any occupancy codes were violated. Fire officials said the property was a three-family house with four adults on the first floor, four adults living on the second floor and a family of 14 on the top floor and attic apartment.

Inspectors from Housing and Inspectional Services were on scene throughout the day, and fire inspectors said the triple-decker was not being used for student housing.

In an unrelated incident, two firefighters and two people were treated for minor injuries after a car and fire engine crashed at the scene.


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