A tragic Massachusetts fire in a multi-family apartment house in Uxbridge has claimed the lives of a 45-year-old woman and her 6-year-old daughter. The young girl had just started first grade in the community school system, and she and her mother had lived in one of the apartment units on the first floor of the structure for just several months. The blaze started around 10:30 at night, and firefighters from some 14 different departments responded. The cause of the blaze has not yet been discovered, and it is as yet unclear if premises liability claims may be filed.
The first fire truck that arrived on the scene had just 1,000 feet of hose. The nearest hydrant to the building was about 1,200 feet away, and the firefighters had to await a second truck to battle the inferno. The structure was said to be demolished by the fire. Though the mother and daughter were immediately reported as missing, their bodies were not recovered until the following morning. The other seven occupants of the multi-family home were all accounted for.
In addition to tapping the fire hydrant, other water was drawn from the Blackstone River to battle the blaze. One individual who used to work in the building said that all of the fire detectors were operational. In addition to the two deceased victims, a firefighter was said to have been injured. He was, however, expected to make a full recovery.
Authorities will now begin to piece together exactly what occurred. One observer noted the agencies involved were professionals and went about these types of investigations methodically. The surviving family of the victims is left to make final arrangements and will have to come to terms with the enormity of what happened. They will also likely want answers and retain their right under Massachusetts law to file wrongful death claims based on allegations of premises liability. Should the evidence document negligence by one or more parties, the victims’ family may pursue claims of monetary damages as they struggle to accept the tragedy that occurred.
Source: The MetroWest Daily News, “Two bodies recovered from rubble after Uxbridge fire,” Jessica Trufant, Sept. 5, 2012