Fire officials in the City of Newton are blaming a plumber's torch as the cause of a $1 million 3 alarm fire Monday afternoon.
Assistant Fire Chief Paul Chagnon stated that the fire was reported about 1:50pm for a fire in the walls of the 2 story brick condominium complex. First arriving fire companies reported fire showing from the 2nd floor of the end unit.
A plumber working in the unit received minor burns and lacerations and burns according to officials and was taken to St. Elizabeth's Medical Center. A mother and child, who were originally reported as trapped but made it out of the fire safely, were also taken to the hospital for evaluation but appeared uninjured.
The fast moving fire took possession of the attic and began to run the line of the cockloft. Firefighters vented the roof with saws but all three of the units in the building sustained extensive damage. Four families were displaced by the fire with the Red Cross assisting three families including one with a baby with shelter along with funds for clothing and food.
Firefighters were able to knock down the fire within a hour despite bitter cold temperatures. One firefighter was treated for a back injury and taken to a local hospital.