Two men, one in his 80s and the other in his 20s, were hospitalized after a three-alarm fire engulfed their multi-family home Wednesday morning in Milton.
The fire was reported at 244 Eliot St. at 10:03 a.m., said Police Chief Richard Wells.
Henry Webster, a 49-year-old construction worker, 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 the third floor.
“He couldn’t get out,” Webster said.
Neighbors searched desperately for a ladder to get to the third floor where the man was yelling from the window. Two men told him 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 that 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 crawl down.
Firefighters fought through fire and smoke on the second floor where they found the elderly man barely conscious in a back bedroom, said Deputy Fire Chief John Foley.
The fire appeared to be heaviest on the second floor, where officials think it may have started, Grant said. The cause of the fire was not released Wednesday.
The conditions of the men were also not released. 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 the younger man does not have injuries that are life-threatening, but the older man had what was decsribed 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 there had been an argument between two brothers living in the house just before the fire, Wells said. It is too early to say whether that argument led to the fire.
“It’s just speculative right now,” Wells said.
Police have been called 14 times to the multi-family home since 2011 for many reasons including domestic disturbances, fights and noise complaints, he said.
As firefighters fought 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.
Two chihuahuas were rescued from the first floor and taken to a veterinarian’s office but appeared to be fine. Milton firefighters received help battling the blaze from Canton and Boston fire crews, Grant said.Maria Cramer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.