Firefighters battle blaze on Maple Street
Marlborough – Marlborough firefighters worked for hours Dec. 17 to put out a blaze at 214 Maple St. that severely damaged a 100-year-old, three-story multi-family house. Their efforts were complicated by severe cold, high winds and icing conditions.
Fire officials said three families were made homeless and one firefighter was injured and taken to Marlborough Hospital for evaluation.
"He was complaining of back pain," Deputy Chief Ron Ayotte said.
He noted the water used to put out the blaze turned quickly to ice as the temperatures hovered in the mid-20s.
"All it takes is one [wrong] step," Ayotte said.
The American Red Cross responded to help the displaced families, as the house was made uninhabitable.
The blaze began shortly after 3 p.m. The Fire Department responded with two engine companies, a ladder company and a rescue company.
Maple Street was closed as rush hour traffic was re-routed toward the west along South Street.
The state fire marshal and the Marlborough Fire Department's Fire Investigations Unit are looking into the cause. Ayotte said no one appeared to be home when the blaze began.
The construction of the house complicated the firefighters' efforts to contain the blaze. Its balloon frame construction leaves open spaces in the walls extending from the basement to the roof.
"If fire gets into the walls, it tracks up and through," Ayotte said.
The house stands directly across Maple Street from the main Fire Department headquarters, less than a hundred yards away.
Four hours after the blaze started, firefighters were still cleaning up the area and checking that the fire was completely out.
"You could have a hot spot somewhere else and you have to make sure everything is out because you don't want to go back and fight the fire again," Ayotte explained.
The Southborough and Sudbury fire departments responded with mutual aid and handled routine calls to the fire station while the firefighters from Marlborough worked the blaze.
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