By Paul Koolloian
Chelsea Firefighters were kept quite busy over the weekend responding to two serious fires that broke out at two high-rise developments on Admirals Hill, including one at the Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCFL).
The first fire, which occurred Friday morning, April 8, almost turned tragic when ,according to reports circulating local media outlets, 96-year-old Charles Lanzillo (a former Chelsea Record employee) became trapped inside his third floor apartment after materials being used to renovate the apartment caused a sudden explosion and fire.
He was rescued by his daughter, former Chelsea Director of Public Buildings Joan Lanzillo, who happened to be visiting him at the time of the fire.
Firefighters responded to Box 915 at the Chelsea Village Apartments at 5 Admirals Way after receiving an alarm activation and a telephone report of a fire on the third floor. Chelsea E3 under the command of Acting Lt. Purcell was in the immediate area and first to arrive.
Upon arrival they reported a heavy smoke condition and fire that was contained to one apartment on the third floor and requested the next due Engine Company to fill the standpipe systems so they could charge an attack line on the fire.
After arriving on scene, Deputy Chief Ulwick assumed command and immediately ordered the working fire. Crews from T1 and L2 assisted E3 in quickly knocking down the main body of fire while crews from E1 and Everett E2 and L1 who were specially called to the fire to assist with search/rescue and evacuation of residents on the upper floors. Members of the Chelsea Fire Investigation Unit, as well as the State Fire Marshals Office, also responded to the scene. Power was also terminated to the affected areas. The fire is currently under investigation.
The second fire occurred on Saturday morning, April 9, as Firefighters responded to the LFCFL located at 165 Captains Row after Chelsea Fire Alarm received a Box Alarm activation from the facility. While en route, a call was received reporting a stove fire on the sixth floor. Upon arrival, firefighters under the command of Deputy Robert Cameron encountered a heavy smoke condition as well as a stove fire that was extending to the walls and ceiling in the east wing kitchen on the sixth floor.
Crews from E2 and L1 utilized the fifth floor standpipe to knock down the main body of fire as crews from E1, 3 and L2 along with facility staff safely evacuated and sheltered several residents into the west wing until the fire was brought under control.
Cataldo Ambulance crews also responded to the scene to evaluate several patients on the fourth floor complaining of respiratory issues. Chelsea Fire Prevention and members from ISD also responded to the scene.
The fire is under investigation