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Day of Celebration Turns Tragic in East Longmeadow

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

A two-alarm fire displaced seven people and destroyed a two story home in East Longmeadow, MA, on Monday, June 3rd. What was supposed to be a day of celebration for an East Longmeadow family turned tragic shortly before 8:45 p.m. While the family was celebrating the recent graduation of one of their children from ELHS and the return of another family member from active duty with the U.S. military, a cooking mishap with a barbeque grill lead to a fire that took possesion of the entire home in a matter of minutes. East Longmeadow firefighters responding to the 8:45 p.m. 911 calls for the structure fire arrived to find fire running up the C/D corner of the structure and gaining a foothold in the attic space. 

To make matters worse, the ELFD’s only ladder truck has been out of service for the last three weeks awaiting repairs to the outriggers so Longmeadow fire fighters responding in on mutual aid were the first due ladder with their 75 foot quint, which caused a slight delay in vertical ventilation as the fire building was on the opposite side of East Longmeadow. 

Wilbraham and Shaker Pines FD’s rounded out the second-alarm assignment. Crews made every effort to contain the fire and try to save as much of the home as possible but as conditions inside worsened members were forced to back out and switch to a defensive attack on the fire using mulitple large and small caliber hand lines and LFD Ladder 1’s master stream. 

The bulk of the fire was knocked down by 11:00 p.m. but crews remained on scene for several more hours chasing hot spots and overhauling the home. Fortunately, all seven residents were able to escape the building prior to the Fire Department's arrival and no injuries were sustained by firefighters operating on scene. 

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NATE ARNOLDCorrespondent

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