By Josh Resnek
A fast spreading three alarm fire that engulfed a multi-family home on Madison Avenue Sunday night has claimed two lives.
Fire authorities say the fire may have started on the second floor, which is where two women who died had apparently been living.
Residents on the third floor interviewed by authorities said they heard an explosion that was followed swiftly by massive flames and thick smoke.
They told officials they felt lucky to escape and that it was a split second of time that was the difference between life and death for them.
Everett firefighters responded to an alarm of fire shortly after midnight to the Madison Avenue property.
Everett firefighters made extraordinary efforts to rescue the women on the second floor but reported the fire was “too hot” to penetrate when they arrived.
In addition, Everett firefighters who entered the first floor found that the structure was not firefighter friendly, making it difficult for firefighters to maneuver inside the burning house.
They spent several hours putting out the fire, which was massive and unforgiving.
Fire departments from a half dozen neighboring communities contributed mutual aid to bring the fire under control.
Fire officials were grateful for Chelsea’s contribution and Boston’s, as well.
The Red Cross is giving aid and housing to at least seven other residents who were living in the home, including a family that was living on the top floor but who were able to evacuate the home despite flames engulfing their living room.
Farid Karradi, a resident who lived on the third floor with his family, said it was a miracle they got out.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The fire caused about $500,000 in damages to the home, which is unlivable.