Skip to content

GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

SHIRLEY — Two neighbors, helped by a nearby worker, raced to pull a couple from their burning home as flames erupted in the Mohawk Chalet apartment complex on Great Road.

“I just started screaming for help,” said Kailee Higgins, who lives in a first-floor apartment next to the unit that caught fire, leaving her neighbors trapped inside.

Higgins saw smoke pouring into her apartment and sparks shooting out of the electrical sockets around 10:30 a.m.

“My air conditioner burst into flames,” she said.

Higgins said she ran outside and saw the smoke and flames coming from her neighbor’s apartment. She was unable to open the door to get the couple out and started calling for help.

Mike Holahan, who lives in an adjacent building in the complex, heard Higgins’ calls and ran to help, as did Shane Wheeler, a Comcast worker who was at the complex to install cable at a unit.

“That’s not what I expected to see to start my day,” said Wheeler, of Worcester.

Wheeler, Holahan and Higgins said they pushed the door of the blazing apartment open and quickly got the man out, then went back in to get the woman out.

Holahan said the building shook as windows shattered from the fire while they went into the burning apartment.

Wheeler said the woman they pulled out appeared badly burned.

The three covered the fire victims with blankets and snow to try and help them, Holahan said. Holahan and Wheeler then started going door to door through the building to get the rest of the residents out.

Shirley Fire Chief Dennis Levesque said the two people in the burning apartment were the only victims in the fire. Both were rushed to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.