Fire at high rise apartment building in Springfield

Fire was caused by an overloaded wall socket

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Western Massachusetts Red Cross has found temporary housing for the two people made homeless by an apartment fire on Girard Avenue in Springfield.

Springfield Fire spokesman Dennis Leger told 22News it started in the bedroom of a second floor apartment. The fire started around 3:30 PM Saturday.

Manuela Rodriguez lives next door, but was worried about her grandmother…who lives on the first floor of the apartment building. “I came to check on my grandma, and then I pulled her outside. Something could have happened to her, because I didn’t know what floor it was on.”

The cause of the fire is electrical. An overloaded wall socket sparked, creating the flames.

Resident Holly Skinner said, “I had just came home. I smelled the smoke. I seen the fire trucks, but I knew it must have been a real fire, there’s too many trucks.”

There were about a 5 fire trucks and two ambulances at the apartment. Springfield Fire Chief David Colon told 22News, whenever there’s a fire in a big building with a lot of people, they send more firefighters, just to be safe.

Yvette Grimes, a neighbor, told 22News she smelled smoke when she left her apartment, and that worried her because she uses an oxygen tank: “I just smelled the smoke and I had to get out. I have asthma and bronchitis and any kind of smell gets to me.”

Fires have been on the rise lately. 19 Massachusetts residents have died in fires so far this year, more than in all of 2015.

The state fire marshal is warning people to test and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for Daylight Saving Time.

Residents living on the upper floors were unable to get back into their apartments quickly, because the elevators had to be shut down. Many of the people living at 15 Girard Avenue are senior citizens.

Nobody was injured in the fire.

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