WORCESTER, Mass. — A Massachusetts firefighter rescued from a fast-moving blaze in an apartment building before dawn Sunday was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, officials said.
Christopher Roy, 36, was a 2 ½-year veteran of the Worcester Fire Department and leaves behind a 9-year-old daughter and other family members, Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie said.
The fire in the six-unit building was reported at about 4 a.m. There were no reports of injuries to tenants. Another firefighter was also taken to the hospital but was later released.
Roy’s death comes days after Worcester marked 19 years since six city firefighters were killed battling a warehouse fire on Dec. 3, 1999. Another Worcester firefighter died in the line of duty on Dec. 8, 2011.
“This is a difficult day for the Worcester Fire Department and particularly painful as this is the week we remember and mourn the passing of Worcester firefighter Jon Davies and the six who perished in the Cold Storage Warehouse fire,” Lavoie said during a news conference Sunday at fire headquarters.
The fire appears to have started in the basement, but “conditions deteriorated rapidly,” the chief said.
Roy, a Shrewsbury resident, was among five firefighters trapped on the second floor.
“With the assistance of other crews and the rapid intervention team, five firefighters escaped over ladders. Two firefighters were transported to the local hospital,” Lavoie said.
City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. called Roy’s death an “unimaginably devastating loss.”
The loss is “especially gut wrenching” given the timing, he said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation with assistance from the state Fire Marshal’s office.