READING— Chief Gregory Burns reports that the Reading Fire Department responded to a serious fire on High Street overnight.
At 3:29 a.m. Monday, Reading Fire responded to 1 High St. after receiving multiple 911 calls reporting a fire. Upon arrival, crews on Engine 1 observed flames showing from a third floor apartment in the rear of the building.
Firefighters immediately began an attack on the fire and crews made entry into the building to begin evacuating the 12 units inside the building. Upon reaching the third floor unit where the fire was located, firefighters found two residents inside who had suffered serious injuries and removed them from the building. Firefighters provided aid to both victims on scene before they were transported to Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. They were later transported to a Boston hospital in serious condition.
Reading Fire struck a fourth alarm in order to bring additional resources to the scene, and crews worked to extinguish the flames inside the apartment. Simultaneously, Reading Police and Firefighters evacuated the remaining 11 units inside the building, and residents were provided shelter at the community room at the Reading Police Department.
The fire was contained to one unit, and there were no injuries to anyone else in the building. Approximately 15 residents were displaced, and the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and building ownership are working to provide them temporary housing.
Crews from the Woburn, Stoneham, Wakefield, North Reading, Wilmington, Burlington, Lynnfield, Andover, Saugus, Winchester and Lawrence Fire Departments responded to the scene to provide mutual aid. The Lynn, Medford and Lexington Fire Departments provided station coverage in Reading during the incident.
“The crews who responded did an excellent job working together to evacuate numerous apartments safely, extinguish the flames and provide aid to the injured on scene,” Chief Burns said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Reading Police and Fire Departments, as well as the State Fire Marshal’s Office.