String of fires hits 7 communities across Mass.

Dryden Coelho and his dog Lala were driven from their home by a two-alarm fire in East Boston on Thursday.
Bill Brett/Globe Staff
Dryden Coelho and his dog Lala were driven from their home by a two-alarm fire in East Boston on Thursday.

A string of fires in Massachusetts on Thursday took the life of an ­elderly woman, injured at least three people, and displaced many others, officials said.

“We’re having a bad day,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan.

He said that officials were investigating the causes of all the fires, which hit Barre, Brookline, East Boston, Lawrence, Lowell, Marblehead, and Hyannis. Coan could not say if the fires were related to the frigid temperatures.


The woman was killed in the blaze in Barre that started around 10:30 a.m. at a row house on Trafalgar Square, the fire marshal said. He said that she owned the home and was the sole occupant.

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“It was a very fast-moving fire,” Coan said. “She was found just ­inside the front door of the building itself.” He said the home did not ­appear to have working smoke detec­tors.

Officials did not identify the woman Thursday. A neighbor on Trafalgar Square, Monica Brozell, 33, said she was home when the fire started.

“I live next door to it,” said Brazell. “It was all smoke, and then it was flames . . . I thought it was going to spread.”

Firefighters from several towns batttled a house fire in Barre that killed an elderly woman. Officials are investigating fires in seven Massachusetts communities.

In Lawrence, a two-alarm fire broke out in the morning at a multifamily home at 124 Weare St. and injured one person, a fire dispatcher said. The person’s condition was not available, though Firefighter Mark Verville said the victim was expected to recover.


A second fire in the city broke out at about 4:45 p.m. at a multifamily building at 133 South Broadway and was out by 10:15 p.m., fire officials said. There was no immediate word on any injuries. The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts said they were assisting two people who were displaced.

A fire in Lowell at an eight-unit apartment complex at 34 Boisvert St. drew more than 100 emergency personnel and left four adults homeless, the Red Cross said. The other seven units were unoccupied at the time, and the four adults were given emergency shelter, the Red Cross said.

Lowell Fire Chief Edward Pitta could not be reached for comment. He told the Lowell Sun newspaper that two firefighters were treated for minor injuries. A neighbor told the newspaper that the fire started just before 11:30 a.m.

A basement fire that started at around 2 p.m. at 29 Leyden St. in East Boston displaced six people, according to the Boston Fire Department. The department said damage to the 2½-
story wooden structure was ­estimated at $200,000.

Dave Ruete, 37, a Red Cross employee, was at the fire. He said later in a phone interview that volunteers distributed kits with toiletries and other items to affected residents, and interviewed them to assess their needs in the coming weeks.


“There was one little girl, so we gave her a Mickey Mouse doll,” he said.

Fires were also reported in Brookline and Marblehead, as well as Hyannis, where at least 13 people were displaced from a 20-unit building on Main Street, according to the Red Cross.

In Brookline, a fire at 205 Kent St, which has six to 10 apartments, affected more than a dozen residents, the Red Cross said.

Travis Andersen can be reached at ­Lauren Dezenski can be reached at lauren.dezenski@