Edited info: (Courtesy of twitter handle @djmt99)
Shortly before 10:30 pm on 12/24/11 Worcester fire department officials were summoned to 19 Merrifield St. A 3 story woodframe structure seated halfway up a steep hill. When units arrived at the scene they were greeted with heavy fire conditions in the rear of this structure. Car 3 took command of the incident aided the companies to an aggressive interior attack and then things took a backwards turn. Thats when the 2nd alarm was sounded.
About 15-20 minutes into the incident the fire broke thru the roof of the fire building and within minutes after that a collapse occured in one sector of the building. The OIC immediately ordered everyone out of the structure due to rapidly deteriorating conditions and several ladder pipes were placed into operation.
After an agressive attack was fought from the outside & conditions improved the firefighters went back into the already dangerous building and chased pockets of fire that were still in the walls & ceiling areas for a good solid hour or better.
This fire posed a number of challenges: The location of this fire was in an area that made it a tough job. The steep hills and narrow streets in the neighborhood posed a number of safety hazards to both firefighters & civilians on the fireground. The below freezing temperatures didnt help as all the water was freezing up on the ground causing icing conditions. The DPW was called in with several sanders to ensure safety for the public & workers at the scene.
Below are a few pictures from the scene:
Chaos on Merrifield St: