By Josh Resnek
The fire on Morris Street that landed two Everett firefighters in the hospital and accomplished the rescue from the burning home of one of its residents trapped on the roof, was not just another day, according to Fire Chief Anthony Carli.
He said the professionalism and knowing what to do evidenced at the scene indicated that each company responding to a fire knows what to do.
“Our men got into rescue mode the moment they arrived on Morris Street,” Carli said. “Normal conditions in a fire can be measured by the level of fire in the basement. Usually, you can get up to the second floor. We always try to go through the front door,” he added.
Two fireghters in full protective gear smashed through the front door shortly after arriving on the scene.
They started up the front stairs, found the fire too intense and then – bang – an explosion sent them running down the stairs and then tumbling out of the building.
Their gear was burning.
They were sprayed with water and then removed to the hospital.
Then the lady on the roof was rescued.
What of this kind of heroism?
Does it come at a price? I asked Chief Carli.
“In the old days no one talked about their experiences,” he said. “We were supposed to be tough guys, never saying anything about near death events,” he added.
“Today, we tell our guys that its OK whatever they are feeling. We understand there is a mental health component to what we do every day. Critical incidents like that on Morris Street bring the Critical Incident Stress Management Team into service,” he said. That team is made up of re ghters trained in mental health.
“Someone came out from Boston Fire Department the night of the incident to make sure our guys were OK. I saw Scott at the hospital and his only concern was Josh and the woman (who got rescued), he wanted to make sure everyone was OK. When I talked with Josh at the hospital all he wanted to know was about Scott and the woman that was rescued”
Carli said of the fire: “Maintaining focus is what its all about.”
He said the Red Cross counted 19 residents of the building displaced by the fire.
“That’s a lot of people for that building,” he added.