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Second victim recovered from site of deadly boarding house fire in New Bedford

Second victim recovered from New Bedford fire
Second victim recovered from New Bedford fire 00:29

NEW BEDFORD - A second victim was recovered from the scene of a deadly fire at a boarding house in New Bedford.

There's still no word yet on what caused the fire that tore through the complex on Acushnet Avenue Tuesday afternoon. Investigators sent up a drone over the burned out wreckage Wednesday to take a closer look at the site where two people were found dead. Demolition on what was left of the building began Wednesday afternoon.

"There's two focuses of what's going to go on today - number one - find that person, number two - look at the area of origin where we believe the fire started," said New Bedford Fire Chief Scott Kruger.

A man who died in the fire was identified Wednesday as 59-year-old Manuel Moreira. The Bristol County District Attorney's office said he lived in a fourth floor unit in the building. The second victim's identity has not been released. 

The fire forced about two dozen people out of their homes, including Jason Gilmore. He lived on the third floor. When he heard the smoke alarm Tuesday afternoon he headed out to the fire escape.

"I was trying to make it down the stairs but couldn't make it down those stairs. The fire was coming up too quickly and the smoke was too much," he told WBZ-TV.

Gilmore ended up in the hospital with burns and smoke inhalation. He returned home Wednesday to see what was left of it.

"Very overwhelming, it's just really too much.. just losing everything," he said. "When you're in a situation like that you don't think, you just gotta try to get outta there.. I lost a lot of everything.. but just thank God I'm still here."

Kruger said at least five people were rushed to the hospital, some with severe injuries.

The Red Cross is helping tenants find new places to stay.

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