Body discovered after fire in Lowell

Posted: 11/27/12 at 4:45 pm EST      Last Updated: 11/28/12 at 11:42 am EST

LOWELL, Mass. (WHDH) -- Fire crews discovered the body of a man who was trapped inside a Lowell home as a fire tore through the building Tuesday evening.

People were taken from the area on stretchers and crews were still searching Tuesday night for a man who never made it out of the family-owned building on Center Street.

People on the scene told 7News that a man about 60 years old who owns a business on the ground floor of the building did not make it out.

Latchy Alon told 7News a woman told him her father was still inside the burning building.

“She’s pushing us down these hallways and I can’t see. The smoke just hits us. We can’t breathe, we hit the ground and we try to go further and we hear the guy screaming. And it’s the worst feeling because we couldn’t go any further,” said Latchy Alon, who attempted to rescue the man.

Firefighters tried their own rescue, but with the same results.

“I know that the first crew, the rescue crew upon the report of where the victim may have been. They made the second floor, turned the hallway and they were met with a wall of flames. They went as far as they could,” said Chief Edward Pitta, Lowell Fire Department.

Chief Pitta confirmed reported that the grandfather and his grandson were working with a plumber’s torch and somehow, it appears, accidentally sparked the fire.

Four to six apartments are located on top of a convenience store.

As the fire raged, firefighters were forced to pull back and pour water on the blaze.

Meanwhile across the street, friends and neighbors comforted the grandmother whose husband never made it out.

“It’s a shock. They were all coming down,” said Father Charles Hughes, pastor at St. Anthony’s Church. Some of the family and friends are with her now.”

Fire crews discovered the body of the grandfather early Wednesday morning.

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