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October 19, 2020
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Updated: Oct. 19 (20:08)

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Fires Increase While Temperatures Drop
Updated On: Dec 12, 2009

 

Fire displaces family of seven

By Maria Papadopoulos, Enterprise staff writer

BROCKTON — A mother and her six children were displaced Saturday after an electrical fire broke out in their Highland Street apartment, fire officials said.

No injuries were reported in the 5 p.m. fire that damaged the two-family home at 110 Highland St. and displaced second-floor tenant Maria Cruz and her six children, ranging in age from 5 to 19.

Cruz, 36, and her family were watching television when they smelled smoke and heard electrical wires within the walls arcing, said Fire Deputy Chief Robert Manning.

“She then called 911 and they got out of the house,” Manning said. “They were outside when we got there.”

When firefighters arrived, they saw flames coming out of the wall of the living room on the second floor, Manning said.

“It started in a wall and spread up into the attic,” he said. “We had to open up the wall and go up into the attic to take some of the flooring up.”

Firefighters extinguished flames within 30 minutes, and Manning estimated damages at $7,500.

The first-floor apartment was vacant at the time of the fire.

The building is owned by Vladimir Rojas of Boston, Manning said.

Investigators found the cause of the fire to be old or fatigued wiring tied in with new wiring, he said.

Manning said the occupants declined assistance from the American Red Cross to stay with a relative.

Power and gas were turned off to the home, which also made it uninhabitable following the fire. The city wiring inspector responded, as did the Fire Prevention Bureau.

Firefighters were on scene two hours, with the last piece of apparatus clearing at 7 p.m.

Crews from Squad A, Ladder 1 and engine companies 4 and 5 responded.

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