Several Vermont families left homeless after fire

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

St. Johnsbury, VT, United States (4E) – At least eight apartment units along the Northeast Kingdom in St.Johnsbury, Vermont have been ruined by flames Sunday afternoon, leaving several residents homeless.

According to St. Johnsbury Fire Department Chief Troy Ruggles, five departments responded to the fire at Railroad St. and massive blaze stopped five firefighters, forcing them to jump from a third floor window to a stairwell.

Ruggles added the firefighters received hospital treatment, one of them suffered mild strains and sprains.

Residents of three apartments managed to escape without serious injury.

A witness stated that seconds after the first fire truck arrived, the flames started coming out of the second floor windows.

Neighbors said the quick action of firefighters saved neighboring structures.

Investigators revealed an electrical fire originating in the first floor traveled though the walls and ceilings of the building and reached all the floors and onto the roof.

The Red Cross said they have been assisting at least 14 people from ten apartments. The fire affected at least eight units.

According to the fire chief, the damage is estimated to be more than three quarters of a million dollars.

The incident is the third major blaze that happened in the city’s downtown in 12 years.

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