A holiday house fire has left several families temporarily homeless. While firefighters battled the flames at 97 Linden Street in Whitman, a Christmas tree could be seen still twinkling its lights in the front room on the second floor.
Lucas O’ Connor, a third floor resident, was first on scene as he arrived home to see flames shooting from the building.
“We were coming home from a holiday party and heard the fire alarms going off. When we got out of the car you could see flames on the second floor – we opened the door- as soon as we opened the door it was full of smoke. So I went around making sure no one was in the apartments and luckily no one was,” said O’Connor.
Fire Chief Grenno commended firefighters for making an aggressive interior attack and limiting the amount of damage to the second floor.
“Firefighters worked quickly to limit the damage and I am very proud that we were able to save a bit of Christmas for these families who have been put out of their homes tonight.“
After battling the flames firefighters were able to re-enter the home and remove the already wrapped Christmas presents from all three apartments.
Smoke and water have rendered the homes uninhabitable. For the time being, families from each unit in the triple decker are reportedly staying with relatives.
The Whitman food pantry was also on scene to offer dinners for the holiday to those who were displaced.
Chief Grenno’s estimated damages to the building is $100,000.
Firefighters from Hanson, East Bridgewater, Abington, and Rockland provided mutual aid. The origin and cause of the fire remain under investigation.