Two Milton men, one in his 80s and the other in his 20s, were hospitalized after a three-alarm fire engulfed their multifamily home Wednesday morning.
The fire was reported at 244 Eliot St. at 10:03 a.m., Police Chief Richard Wells said.
A neighbor, Henry Webster, said he was getting ready for work when he heard loud pops outside. He rushed out to see the home across the street engulfed in flames and a younger man screaming for help from a third-floor window.
“He couldn’t get out,” Webster said.
Neighbors searched desperately for a ladder. Two men told the man screaming for help to jump, but he was too frightened to make the 30-foot leap, Webster said.
“As high and as fast as the fire was burning, you can only imagine what was going through their minds,” he said of the two victims trapped inside. The fire was so strong that it melted siding on the home next to it.
Fire Chief Jack Grant said when firefighters arrived, the younger man had one leg out of the window and seemed ready to jump. Firefighters raised a ladder and helped the man climb down.
Firefighters fought through fire and smoke on the second floor, where they found the older man barely conscious in a bedroom, Deputy Fire Chief John Foley said.
The fire appeared to be heaviest on the second floor, where officials think it may have started, Grant said.
The injured men were not named by officials. The younger man was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the older man was sent to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Milton. An official said that the younger man does not have life-threatening injuries, but that the older man had what was described as “fairly serious injuries and burns.”
At least two other people were in the house when it caught fire but they quickly escaped, Wells said.
Police received a report that just before the fire, there had been an argument between two brothers living in the house, Wells said. He could not say whether that argument led to the fire.
“It’s just speculative right now,” Wells said.
Police have been called 14 times to the multifamily home since 2011 for various reasons, including domestic disturbances, fights, and noise complaints, he said.
As firefighters put out the last of the flames, several people who appeared to know the victims watched from the sidewalk, some with tears streaming down their faces. They declined to comment.
Milton firefighters received help battling the blaze from Canton and Boston fire crews, Grant said.Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Maria Cramer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeMCramer.