Palmer residents recall escaping the deadly fire

Families congregated all day in front of the building

Report-it Photo: Dan Slowick

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – The State Fire Marshal was in Palmer all day Tuesday trying to determine the exact cause of a deadly fire at an apartment building in Pleasant Street.

The identity of the woman that died has not been released and multiple people are still recovering in the hospital.

Palmer Firefighter Bevan Forbes was one of the first to arrive around 5 o’clock Monday night because he lived at the apartments with his wife. His wife was fine but he ended up saving another resident.

“Up to the stairs I heard like a lady was screaming and I turned back around and she fell right there, and the stairway coming up and the smoke so I pulled her out. I’m not sure if I used my feet or my hands to pull the door but I know I busted the door open and then brought her out into the snow bank,” Forbes said. He also went back in to save the woman’s cat.

Many of the residents that made it out of the fire 22News spoke with on Tuesday said they had to jump from the second or third story windows to save themselves from the flames and smoke or others.

Melissa Jackson, who helped others escape, said, “It was a far drop and I hurt my leg a little bit, but you know. I’m okay and you know it was traumatizing.”

“One of our neighbors on the second floor actually lent us there window and got everybody out safely. I was actually thrown out the window because I was too petrified too leave,” Magda Malave said.

Those that made it out alive were back on Tuesday to try and get some of their belongings, while being helped by the American Red Cross.

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