Condos burn in candle fire

April 29, 2011
By

John Ruch

Web Exclusive

PARKSIDE—Eleven people were left homeless by an April 14 fire at 17 Glade Ave. that was caused by an unattended candle, according to the Boston Fire Department (BFD).

“When we made it out, [the house] was already completely in flames,” said resident Laura Salafia, who escaped the blaze with husband David and 3-and-a-half-year-old son Jack after waking up to smoke detectors beeping. “The whole house was crackling and windows were bursting open.”

The two-alarm fire did about $450,000 in damage to the triple-decker condo building, according to BFD spokesperson Steve MacDonald. No one was injured, but two cats and a dog were killed, and one firefighter was treated for chest pains, according to Salafia and MacDonald.

Rebuilding the house will take nine to 12 months, Salafia said. Displaced residents are living with family or friends and trying to figure out long-term housing during the reconstruction, she said.

Salafia praised the firefighters’ response and said she is planning some type of formal thank-you to them. Not only did firefighters respond quickly, she said, but they also showed sensitivity afterward, such as carefully saving one couple’s wedding photos from the debris.

People don’t realize the importance of firefighters “until your home is burst into flames and you need these amazing people to save you,” Salafia said.

Salafia said her family has received clothing and toy donations from local businesses Hatched and Mama & Me.

“It’s a really amazing community to be in,” she said.

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