Hoarding Encountered During Rescue at Massachusetts Fire

Middleborough firefighters rescued two people in a house fire.
(Middleborough Fire Department photo, Facebook)

Floor to ceiling items halted firefighters on the second floor

Darvence Chery, The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass.


Jan. 15–MIDDLEBORO – Two elderly Middleboro residents were rescued from a house fire on Montello Street Wednesday night despite “hoarding conditions” that impeded the initial efforts to enter the home, Middleboro Fire Chief Lance Benjamino said.

“Upon arrival, firefighters observed smoke coming from the second floor of the home in the kitchen area,” according to a written statement from Benjamino.

Fire crews were halted in their rescue attempts due to a large amount of household items stacked floor to ceiling blocking the entrance on the second floor of the home at 2 Montello St.

The items included clothing, magazines, and videotapes to name a few, Benjamino told the Enterprise.

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Once Middleboro Fire Tower 3 arrived, crews were able to gain entry to the attic where the fire, which was reported at approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday, had reached.

Fortunately, the residents were able to get to the first floor when firefighters arrived. The two individuals, one male and one female, were brought to safety outside.

They were treated by paramedics and transported by ambulance to Morton Hospital as a precaution. They are expected to make a full recovery.

Benjamino estimates that there was “about $50,000 worth of damage and that it is a hoarding condition that needs to be cleaned up before it can be rehabitated.”

The two residents who were displaced are being assisted by the Red Cross and Board of Health.

The Middleboro building inspector and Board of Health also responded to the scene. Electricity and gas services to the home were shut off by the Middleboro Gas and Electric Company.

This fire was the second to occur in town on Wednesday, with the first happening Wednesday morning at 530 Wareham St.

The fire is not believed to be suspicious at this time, according to the fire department. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) also responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.


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