EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

January 31, 2014

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

CHEERS to veteran Lawrence police Officer Carl Farrington for his rescue of a man from a home fire Monday night.

The fire started in a second-floor bedroom of 14 Worswick Terrace where the victim, a 53-year-old who may weigh as much as 300 pounds, was sleeping. The victim’s 89-year-old father noticed something was wrong and was able to drag his son off the bed before heading downstairs to safety.

Farrington was the first on the scene and the father told him his son was still upstairs. Farrington carried the man, suffering from severe smoke inhalation, down the stairs, where Fire Capt. John Meany and firefighter Manny Gutierrez helped both men outside. Both Farrington and the victim were taken to Lawrence General from treatment for smoke inhalation.

Acting police Chief James Fitzpatrick had nothing but praise for Farrington.

“By his heroic actions, he potentially saved this man’s life,” Fitzpatrick told reporter Paul Tennant.

Kudos to Farrington for his bravery and heroic effort in a life-threatening situation.

CHEERS to Lawrence firefighters for their effort in battling yet another serious fire in the city.

Just two weeks after a five-alarm blaze destroyed the former Merrimac Paper mill, firefighters battled a dangerous house fire at 32 Hall St. Three families totaling 15 people were displaced by the destruction of the triple-decker apartment building. Firefighters estimated there was $275,000 in damages.

Firefighters were hampered by the 94-year-old building’s balloon construction, in which long, vertical studs run from the basement to the attic leaving nothing to stop a fire from spreading quickly inside the walls. The construction style is typical for the period.

“When it’s a fire in the walls, the race is on,” Marsh told reporter Mark E. Vogler at the fire scene. “You wind up breaking down the walls to chase after the fire. It doesn’t take long for it to spread from the basement all the way up to the roof. The initial report was there was smoke in the wall on the first floor. I went to the second floor and opened the bathroom door, and I was met with a wall of fire.”

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