The Boston Globe’s Evan Allen spoke with residents who escaped Thursday’s deadly Lowell apartment fire, piecing together a devastating account of what happened, step by step, both inside and outside of the building.
From Allen’s report:
Inside, residents who had not made it out in the first wave found themselves trapped by flames in the hallway. Sar Soth, 43, was in her third-floor apartment with two young children, their mother and another man, when she heard a boom, saw the flames, woke everyone up and realized the front door was hot. When the man tried to open it, flames burned his face.
“I open a window, we are screaming!” Soth recounted, shaking and weeping. “We couldn’t get out... We almost died in there.”
Soth said they watched the roof cave in. By the time firefighters reached them, the family could not see because of the smoke. At the bottom of the ladder, Soth fell, dizzy and unable to breathe.
Seven people, including three children, died as the 4 a.m. blaze quickly filled the hallways with flames and smoke, trapping residents inside.