Cherry Street Structure Fire
At 0530 on Sunday, April 12 the Essex Junction Fire Department and Essex Town Fire Departments were dispatched to a reported structure fire. While Essex Junction and Essex Town firefighters where responding dispatch gave an update of a confirmed structure fire with multiple people trapped at the rear of the building. At this same time Essex Rescue was dispatched to the scene. Essex Police and Essex Rescue arrived on scene to find the front of the house mostly involved in flame with multiple residents trying to help get another resident out of an apartment from the back porch of the building.
Engine 5 Responded with a full crew from the Junction Station and arrived on scene to find the structure 25% involved in Fire. The first crew was met with the task of making the knock on the fire, while assisting with the rescue of the trapped occupants. Crews split in 2 with the officer and two of his Crew members going to the rear of the building to assist with Rescue and the Engine operator and remaining 2 crew left to attack the fire, giving crews and the trapped resident time to allow crews to go interior and assist with the rescue.
Fire Crews found Police and one Town Firefighters trying to get to a trapped resident. An Essex Police officer, The Junction Fire Officer and the Essex Firefighter worked together to chop a hole in the side of the building, while two firefighters made entry into the residents apartment. Interior crew quickly found the resident and worked with the exterior crew to remove the woman from the second floor. The woman -- who is in her twenties -- was unresponsive and taken into intensive care at the UVM Medical Center. Five others were transported from the fire for smoke inhalation. Two fire fighters, one Police officer, and two tenants were taken to the ER.
Simultaneous to the rescue operation the remaining members of Engine 5 pulled one 1 3/4" hose line and one 2 1/2 blitz gun and made an initial knock down on the bulk of the fire. EFD Engine 2 arrived on scene establishing water supply just as Engine 5 ran out of its first 1000 gallons of water. At the same time Ladder 3 arrived on scene and crews started setting up ladder one to assist opening p the roof to allow for ventilation. Once search was complete and all residents and family pets were accounted for crews switched completely to fire attack. Using multiple1 3/4" and 2 1/2' inch hose lines, as well as 1 deck gun, and The Ladders and Colchester Centers aerial master streams to bring the fire under control. Though the building was a loss the efforts of the crews from all departments that responded saved a lot of personal property for the residents of the building.
At 10 am the fire was declared out and crews started working to clean up. Vermont State Fire Investigators were called in to investigate the cause of the fire. At this time Essex Junction Fire does not have an update for the cause of the fire or the Condition of the resident. Our thoughts go out to the injured resident and to all of our residents affected by the fire.
We would like to thank our mutual aid departments Essex Fire, Williston Fire, Colchester Center Fire, Malletts Bay Fire, Underhill-Jericho Fire, Colchester Rescue and Saint Michaels Fire and Rescue for their assistance on scene and covering both Town and Junction stations.