A fatal weekend house fire in Massachusetts has eerie similarities with an even deadlier blaze at the site of the same home more than 60 years ago.
Fire officials said Sunday a 4-year-old boy died in the Westport fire late Saturday night. Firefighters battled the fire on both floors and the youngster was found dead in in his second-floor bedroom. He was unable to escape.
The Westport Fire Department’s Facebook page linked to a crowdfunding website that said the boy’s mother and 7-year-old sister were severely burned. They were not identified by officials.
A third person who tried to rescue the child also was hospitalized and a firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.
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Deputy Fire Chief Allen N. Manley Jr., who has been helping to chronicle the history of the local fire department, said a mother and eight children died in a fire at the house in November 1952. Toxic fumes had moved through the house and killed them, Manly said.
Sunday’s blaze appears to also have started in the kitchen, he said, though an investigation is continuing.
“It’s essentially the same house as it was,” he said.
The youngest victim in the 1952 fire also was 4 years old, he said.
The similarities “did not dawn on me initially,” Manley said.
“When we made the connection between the two fires, it rattled me a little bit,” he said.
Another similarity: Manley’s grandfather, also a firefighter, was at the scene of the 1952 blaze.