When Mitchell Donnelly first heard the pops and saw smoke from the home across the street, he didn’t think much at first, but quickly realized the situation was very dire.
It would end up being one of the craziest afternoons he has experienced, as a two-alarm fire blew through 15 Morris St. on Friday afternoon, July 13, seriously injuring longtime Acting Lt. Scott Dalrymple.
“I heard a loud pop at first and didn’t think much of it, but then I heard the smoke detectors go off two seconds after,” he said from his porch Friday as the fire still smoldered across the street. “I went outside and saw people screaming and they were saying someone was stuck on the third floor. I called the Fire Department and ran over and got a neighbor’s garden hose and tried to spray the fire out through the basement windows. Once I got the hose in there, it was fully involved. I heard pops and saw sparks and by that time the Fire Department was there.”
In the tense moments at the outbreak of the fire – which was ruled by the State Fire Marshal to be electrical in nature – one woman was trapped on the roof, and moments later the fire back-drafted when crews went in the front door. That caused serious injuries to two firefighters, who had to be taken by ambulance from the scene.
Chief Tony Carli said Engine 2 firefighters made a great save in rescuing the woman off the back roof. She was transported to the hospital, but did not have serious injuries.
Meanwhile, Acting Lt. Scott Dalrymple and Firefighter Josh Doyon were both injured when the fire flared up at the front door and burned them.
“Right after the woman was rescued, I saw one of the firefighters come out the front door in a ball of fire,” said Donnelly.
Indeed, Dalrymple was burned quite severely and has had skin grafts this week at a hospital in Boston. Carli said he was a 20-plus year veteran, and had been responsible for putting together the Everett Fire calendar to raise money a few years back.
Firefighter Doyon was released from the hospital on Friday.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said Dalrymple had been a big part of the City’s efforts in the Everett Fire Victims Fund.
“I want to applaud and thank our Fire Department and the surrounding community fire departments for their brave and hard work,” he said. “I also ask for your prayers and well wishes for speedy and full recoveries of firefighters Scott Dalrymple and Josh Doyon who both sustained injuries while responding to the fire. These two men and the rest of the men and women are true heroes and risked their lives to save both residents and the house.”
Chief Carli and the State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said Dalrymple had “extensive burns.”
Late on Friday, State Fire Marshal Ostroskey, Chief Carli and Everett Police Steven Mazzie ruled the fire at 15 Morris St. was electrical.
“We all wish our injured firefighter a speedy recovery and I want to commend the Everett and mutual aid fire companies for their efforts fighting this fire,” said Chief Carli.
Investigators have determined that the fire started at the electrical panel.
The fire was jointly investigated by the Everett Fire and Police Departments, and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
City officials have indicated that there have been code violations at the home in the past and that it has been on their radar for quite some time.
On Monday, the City sent the owners – Muddassir Bari and Nargis Bhatti of Floyd Street – an order to demolish the home. The owner had until noon on July 18 to begin preparations to get rid of the home – which was deemed a total loss and structurally unsound.
City officials said 19 people were displaced from the two-family home, which had just been put on the market for sale by Bari.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria has put out the call for residents to help the fire victims from the fire on Morris Street by contributing to the Everett Fire Victims Fund.
“After each fire it is important that we come together as a community to help support victims after they have been displaced from their home,” he said in a statement. “Established in 2009 by Stacy (DeMaria) and I, the Fire Victims Fund provides a method for the City of Everett, its residents, and business community to contribute to any possible victims of fire related tragedies. Since its inception, my administration has helped hundreds of individuals through devastating fires. Through generous contributions and donations from community members, the City is able to donate approximately $250 to each person in need.”
If anyone would like to donate, please contact 617-394-2270.