Springfield Fire Commissioner discusses challenges faced during - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield Fire Commissioner discusses challenges faced during fatal Belmont Ave. fire

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

The Springfield community is still mourning the father and two young children that were killed in a fire.

On Tuesday, the city council's public safety committee held a meeting with the fire commissioner to learn more about what happened.

The tragic fire happened on March 18 inside an apartment building on 49 Belmont Avenue.

Father Aden Abdakadr and his two young children were killed in that early morning fire, and up to 80 people were displaced. 

Springfield Fire Commissioner B.J. Calvi said one of the challenges firefighters faced that day was trying determine exactly which building was on fire. 

"I think members of Springfield Fire Department responding did a tremendous job saving lives, going above and beyond to get things done during difficult circumstances and gave their all to get it done

Commissioner Calvi told Western Mass News they didn't get a single call from a tenant in the building; only from bystanders who reported a structure fire in the Belmont Avenue area, but didn't give an exact location.

He noted that the fire got a head start because it appears there were battery operated smoke detectors inside the apartments that did not work.

"According to witness statements from survivors on that floor said when they were awoken by one of children they could hear the sound sounding in hallway but the battery alarm inside their apartment never went off," Calvi added. 

While firefighters worked to battle the flames in 20 miles per hour winds, Commissioner Calvi said there were issues with tenants trying to escape from the burning building, and some residents resorted to jumping out of windows. 

 "The smoke actually had to migrate out  to the hallway before the central alarm  transmitted butt so that allowed fire to grow before we actually got the alarm," Calvi explained. 

Commissioner Calvi could not comment on what caused the fire as the State Fire Marshall continues to investigate. 

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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