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Writing and Reporting by Jenna Duncan

Posts Tagged ‘fire

Mother, daughter die in N.H. house fire

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Published on April 14, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B3

-Shared byline with Katherine Landergan

The remains of a mother and daughter were recovered from a house that was consumed by fire yesterday in Londonderry, N.H., fire officials said.

Four other occupants, whose names were withheld, escaped with minor injuries, officials said.

The Associated Press reported that Lisa Whittemore, a family friend, identified the women who died as Frances Gehling and her adult daughter Rebecca.

The Fire Department was called at 4:21 a.m. about a porch fire at 38 Hemlock St., said Captain James Roger. While en route to the scene, the department received a second call, this one from a neighbor reporting a house fire at the same address.

Crews arriving saw heavy fire on the first and second floors of the home, Roger said. Firefighters tried to extinguish the blaze from the interior, but thick flames forced them outside, Roger said.

“To have that much fire, that quick, and not be able to go in, it was a very tough decision,” he said.

“It was too much. The house was pretty much consumed by fire.”

Roger said a mother and daughter did not make it out. The four other occupants were transported to Parkland Medical Center in Derry, N.H.

The mother and daughter could be officially identified this morning, said Fire Chief Kevin MacCaffrie.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office.

Records show that the house is owned by John and Frances Gehling.

According to the Associated Press, the couple has owned the colonial-style house since June 1986.

Written by jdunccc

April 14, 2011 at 9:15 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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Newton fire claims life of former WGBH producer, friend says

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Published on February 21, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-Shared byline with Travis Andersen

NEWTON — A fire that broke out early this morning at a Newton home has claimed the life of an award-winning former television producer for WGBH, a family friend said today.

The friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Beth Deare, who was in her early 60s, died in the blaze. Deare lived at 56 Waverley Ave. with roommates and had been battling brain cancer, he said.

“She was a wonderful person,” the friend said. “She was an extremely dignified woman.”

He said she had won several Emmy awards for her work in television. Deare was a long-time host and associate producer of WGBH’s “Say Brother,” a public-affairs television program by, for and about African Americans, according the station’s website.

Deare produced national broadcast projects for PBS, including “Midnight Ramble,” about early race movies. She also taught at Bunker Hill Community College, according to the school’s website.

“She was a talented producer and someone who really made connections with others and the community,” said Jeanne Hopkins, WGBH vice president for communications and government relations. “She was really committed to ‘Say Brother’ and being an active voice in the African American community.”

Newton Deputy Fire Chief Mike Castro said investigators believe the fire started in the victim’s second floor bedroom. He said the cause of the fire is under investigation but there are no signs that it was suspicious.

Castro said firefighters had difficulty finding the victim because the roof collapsed from the third floor onto the second floor.


Written by jdunccc

February 21, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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Spreading blaze destroys Chelsea house No major injuries, but 50 homeless

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Published on February 16, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B2

-Shared byline with John Guilfoil

A large house fire in Chelsea spread to a neighboring six-family home yesterday and destroyed it, leaving 50 people homeless.

Jay Ash, Chelsea’s city manager, said there were no serious injuries.

The three-alarm blaze broke out around 11 a.m. at 102 Marlborough St. and spread to the larger house at 117 Library St.

The Marlborough Street house was damaged, but it was the Library Street house that was hit hardest and destroyed. Fire officials believe the high winds yesterday contributed to the spread of the fire.

One person was initially reported missing — a father thought his daughter might be in one of the buildings — but firefighters thoroughly searched and determined no one was inside, according to Chelsea’s acting fire chief, David Lafond. Ash said authorities believe the missing resident was out on an errand.

Chelsea’s Fire Investigation Unit and State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan’s office are investigating the fire’s cause.

The American Red Cross was assisting people who could not return home because of the damage, said a spokeswoman, Nancy Rowe. Two disaster relief teams responded to help the displaced residents. An overnight shelter was opened at the Williams Middle School on Walnut Street.

A large crowd gathered and watched the scene from neighboring homes. In densely-packed Chelsea, 36,166 residents live in a city of 1.8 square miles, according to the US Census Bureau. Firefighters said that the close bunching of homes, coupled with high winds, can be a dangerous combination during a fire.

Firefighters remained on scene well into the evening, dousing hot spots and investigating. One firefighter, Captain Michael Gurska, injured his shoulder after falling on ice and was being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital yesterday, according to the Fire Department.

Firefighters from Boston, Revere, Everett, Malden, Lynn, Cambridge, Saugus, Winthrop, and Medford came to assist Chelsea during the fire.

Written by jdunccc

February 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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Ambulance catches fire on Jamaicaway

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Published on February 2, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

An ambulance on the Jamaicaway had what appeared to be an electrical fire at about 12:15 p.m. today, a company official said.

According to Ron Quaranto, chief operating officer of Cataldo Ambulance Service, the driver noticed some problems and called the company’s dispatcher, who then notified the supervisor and the fire department.

The cause is yet to be determined, but Quaranto said no one was injured in the incident.


Written by jdunccc

February 2, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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Three-alarm fire damages Everett building

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Published on December 17, 2010 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

Investigators believe an unattended space heater sparked a three-alarm fire in Everett this morning that caused “pretty extensive” damage to a residential building, Everett Fire Department Deputy Chief John Maguire said.

The fire originated on the first floor at 172 Main St. and climbed to the the third story, the top of the building. Maguire said the damage is mostly in the front of the building and the rear is okay.

Firefighters responded to a call around 9 a.m. and stayed at the residence until about 1 p.m. The Boston, Chelsea, Somerville, Revere, Malden, and Massport fire departments helped at the scene and other communities helped man the firehouse.

The exact extent of the damage and whether the building can be repaired have not yet been determined, Maguire said.


Written by jdunccc

December 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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