Heavy flames were engulfing the third floor at 160 Broadway, and someone was trapped.
With Chelsea firefighters beating back the flames, Firefighter Miguel Acosta began feeling around on the floor and found what turned out to be a soot-covered arm. He grabbed it, and pulled the trapped woman to safety.
“I felt what I thought was an arm but it was her leg,” said Acosta. “Then I dragged her out of the room with the help of Tower 1’s crew.”
The woman was taken down from the third floor by Tower 1’s crew and transported to MGH Boston. The last report from the hospital stated she was in stable condition and expected to recover.
The life-saving grab came after a call on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 5:58 a.m. brought the fire department to the report of a building fire at 160 Broadway. Engine 2 was first to arrive on scene from Central Fire Station and reported a working fire.
Deputy Chief Robert Zalewski arrived on scene and observed fire on the top floor. Chelsea Police officers reported that a person was trapped on the third floor.
Engine 2’s crew stretched a hose line into the building and made their way to the third floor. Tower Ladder 1’s crew quickly entered the building and proceeded to the 3rd floor to perform a search for the trapped occupant.
Engine 2’s crew started to extinguish the fire as they entered the third floor, pushing it back enough to allow a search to commence. Within a minute, the occupant was located in a rear bedroom by Firefighter Acosta.
Crews worked for over an hour to extinguish the fire. Everett Engine 2 and Revere Ladder 2 responded to the fire as the Rapid Intervention Team.
One Chelsea Firefighter was injured when he slipped on the ice in front of the building and broke his arm.
Boston Engine 5 and Boston Ladder 21 covered Central Fire Station while Somerville Engine 2 covered the Mill Hill Station.
The Chelsea Fire Investigation Unit determined the cause of the fire as careless disposal of a cigarette.
Damage to the building is estimated at $75,000.