Suspected cooking fire leaves one injured, 27 homeless on Thanksgiving Day in New Bedford

One woman was injured and 27 people were left homeless on Thanksgiving Day after a suspected cooking-related blaze tore through three New Bedford homes, authorities said.
The 10-alarm fire broke out at about 9:45 a.m. at 16 Washburn St. and quickly spread to two other houses, one on either side, acting Fire Chief Scott Kruger said.
Smoke detectors in the buildings were working, he said, and firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls arrived to find a one-family house and two three-family homes — all very close to one another — ablaze.
Margo Barboza, who lived at 14 Washburn St., was making stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner when her boyfriend noticed smoke.
“When I opened the window, all we saw was flames,” said Barboza, 55. “It went up so fast, there wasn’t time to do anything but run outside with my boyfriend, his sister and our pit bulls, Diamond and Rusty. … It’s a tragedy no matter what day it is. It’s a bad hit. It messed up our holiday dinner, and our house is a total loss.”
Firefighters were able to rescue a dog in the basement of one home, Kruger said, but one woman was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford with serious injuries.
Mayor Jon F. Mitchell praised the fire department for responding quickly and skillfully, ultimately preventing the blaze from spreading any further.
“There was no loss of life,” he said, “and all 27 people who live in these three houses have been accounted for.”
The Red Cross was arranging shelter at a local hotel for those who had nowhere else to go.
Local fire investigators and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are probing the cause of the blaze, Kruger said, but one “pretty strong” possibility is deep frying. Within less than two hours after the fire broke out, mutual aid fire departments in nearby towns responded to three or four “cooking mishaps,” he added.
“While the matter is being investigated, it is safe to say … that when people cook, they need to be careful,” Mitchell said. “You hear these stories … on Thanksgiving, when things go awry in cooking, and so here we are this morning.
“People are going to be cooking today. Be really careful. That is what I stress more than anything else to everybody out there on Thanksgiving,” Kruger added. “Safety first, please.”
NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Margo Barboza walks the street as Firefighters battle a general alarm fire at her house on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: An older resident of the area walks thru his smoke filled back yard as Firefighters battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters reposition a hose as they battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters mask up as smoke engulfs an area as they battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters mask up as smoke engulfs an area as they battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters take a break as they battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)NEW BEDFORD MA. – NOVEMBER 26: Firefighters take a break as they battle a general alarm fire on Washburn St on November 26, 2020 in New Bedford, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)Show Caption of Expand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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