Monday, 15 August 2022
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Marlborough home destroyed, but no injuries in early morning fire

Divi – a small poodle – alerted its family to an early morning house fire by barking wildly early Friday morning. All four residents made it out safely.

MARLBOROUGH – A dog is being heralded a hero after helping four people escape a fire that destroyed a Chestnut Street multifamily home early Friday morning.

The dog – a small poodle named Divi – began wildly barking shortly before 2:30 a.m., waking up its owners on the second floor. The family awoke to see large orange flames shooting past a rear window of their home at 144 Chestnut St.

“That’s how they knew it was a fire,” said Edgar Vigil, who lives next door.

Four tenants – two on each floor – and two dogs escaped the three-alarm blaze unharmed, said Assistant Fire Chief Fred Flynn.

Marlborough fire officials and the state Fire Marshal’s Office said the cause remains under investigation. Investigators placed Arson Watch Reward posters on the home’s front door, not because the fire has been determined as arson, but because it is the only toll free number the Fire Marshal’s office has for the public to provide information on fires, said Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the Fire Marshal’s office. That number is 800-682-9229.

Firefighters from the Pleasant Street station – which is just a few hundred yards from the home – arrived within minutes. They found the back of the home engulfed, said Flynn.

“The faster the response, the better,” he said.

Crews initially tried to fight the blaze from inside, but the fire was too strong. A portion of the back roof collapsed.

“It quickly overwhelmed,” said Flynn.

It took firefighters about an hour and a half to extinguish the blaze – which Flynn characterized as stubborn. Crews remained on scene until shortly after 9 a.m.

Flynn called the home a total loss. The house is assessed for $237,900, according to the city Assessor’s Office.

Hudson, Southborough, Northborough, Sudbury and Berlin firefighters assisted in fighting the blaze.

The Red Cross is assisting the families living in the house and another next door that sustained smoke damage and a flooded basement. Vigil lives in that duplex and won’t be able to go home for a couple days. He is thankful the fire did not spread and everybody is safe.

“It was pretty scary,” he said standing outside his home Friday morning.

Vigil’s daughter woke him after hearing the chaotic scene.

“She heard someone screaming ‘fire, fire!’” he said.

Vigil saw flames shooting several feet high in the back of the house when he went outside to move his three cars, which were parked in a driveway just feet from the burning home.

Sasha Cintolo woke up when she smelled the smoke coming through her open bedroom window. Cintolo watched as embers blew across the street and onto he driveway of her home.

“It was really scary, because I have an infant,” she said.

Cintolo does not know the tenants of the house, but is thankful nobody was injured.

Jeff Malachowski can be reached at 508-490-7466 or Follow him on Twitter @JmalachowskiMW. 


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