One dead, three firefighters hurt in Pepperell fire

PEPPERELL — One adult female was killed in a blaze that damaged three floors of a five-unit apartment building on Main Street on a hot Tuesday morning.

Fire Chief Brian Borneman said that an off-duty lieutenant first spotted the fire at 50 Main St. around 8:35 a.m. after leaving Donelan’s Supermarket. The four-alarm fire required the response of 14 fire departments including Ayer, Westford, Littleton and Hollis, N.H., along with multiple ambulances.

“Upon my arrival, there was heavy fire showing from two windows on floor number one extending into the second and third floors,” Borneman said. “Conditions were definitely a factor as we progressed.”

Along with the deceased civilian, three firefighters suffered heat-related injuries and one laceration while on scene.

All four people were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Borneman said the victim was on the first floor of the apartment but would not release the names of the female or the fireighters.

The fire was brought under control sometime shortly after 9 a.m. Borneman said that the apartment was wood-framed and “probably over 100 years old.” He believed that there were “two or three” people in the building at the time of the fire, with other residents of the apartment notified. He did not have the total number of residents who were living in the building at the time.

The cause of the fire is unknown and currently under investigation by the state Fire Marshals Office, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Pepperell Police and Fire Departments. Borneman added that the section of Main Street, from Cross Street to Crescent Street, will be closed for the next hour.

Jon Winkler: @MrJW595 on Twitter