By Seth Daniel
Firefighters from all over the area joined Chelsea Fire on Monday afternoon in fighting a stubborn and dangerous four-alarm fire at 57 Bellingham St.
Three Revere firefighters were hurt, one seriously, and five Chelsea firefighters were treated for minor injuries and released.
No one in the home was injured, but nine adults and three children were displaced. The fire started around 3:47 p.m. and progressed quickly to a four alarm fire by 5:10 p.m. Heavy black smoke poured over City Hall and the quick burning fire – located in the back of the house on the porches pushed smoke throughout the City all the way to Cary Square and beyond.
On arrival, heavy fire was on all three floors in the rear of a three-story wood frame 6-family dwelling. The fire spread quickly to the loft area. Firefighters made an aggressive interior attack under extremely adverse condition. Firefighters were ordered out of the building due to collapse hazards on the third floor.
At one point, a “May Day” was called for a collapse of a structural component which injured three firefighters from Revere in the rear of the building. The May Day was cleared and those members were transported to MGH. A May Day call is the most serious call to be made in firefighting.
Interim Revere Fire Chief Chris Bright reported that Lt. Bob DeMauro, leader of the Ladder 2 Revere crew, was the most seriously injured of the three injured firefighters.
“Bob is going to be out of commission for months and not weeks,” said Bright. “Thankfully they didn’t get killed. Bob was in acute care and Mass General and he is now in a room. He’ll probably have to go to a rehab facility.”
DeMauro suffered a head injury, a concussion, a broken left hand, three chipped vertebrae, and compressed vertebrae in his lower back.
Revere Firefighter Charlie Fusco was also admitted to the MGH with shoulder injuries and bruising.
Revere Firefighter Paul Calsimitto was transported to the Whidden Hospital after taking a blow to the head and was released Monday night.
“What happened was they were operating in the rear of the house down in the backyard,” said Bright. “They pulled everyone out of the house to fight the fire from the outside because there was too much smoke…At some point a transom on top of the roof collapsed and fell on them as they were in the rear yard. There was so much smoke they never saw it coming.”
The fire was knocked down and damage was kept to the structure of origin.
“This was a very difficult and fast moving fire, where members of Chelsea Fire and our mutual aid worked tirelessly and aggressively to bring under control,” said Chelsea Chief Leonard Albanese. “Chelsea Fire thanks Revere, Everett, Boston, Medford, Saugus, Somerville, Winthrop, Malden, Lynn, Melrose and Cambridge who assisted us through the MetroFire mutual aid system.”
The fire cause was determined to be accidental originating from an electrical issue on the rear porch, first floor.