Fire Heavily Damages Two Family on Russell Terrace, Occupant Taken to Hospital

A two-alarm fire heavily damaged a 105-year-old two-family house at the end of Russell Terrace, sending an elderly occupant to the hospital this afternoon, Tuesday, Jan. 20.

Flames and smoke were billowing from the first and second floor windows of the wooden Colonial when the first fire crews arrived at the dead end street off of White Street near the Watertown line, Belmont Fire Chief David L. Frizzell told the Belmontonian at the scene.

The call came into Belmont dispatch at 12:06 p.m. and was quickly upgraded to a second alarm, said Frizzell.

A haze hung over a blocked off White Street as firefighters worked inside the building to douse flames that worked their way into the awes. The exterior was blackened by the blaze.

A Russell Terrace resident who did not want to be named said her husband saw smoke coming from the second floor window just after noon.

“He yelled at me to call 911. I’m surprised I didn’t have a heart attack running to the phone,” she said.

Frizzell and the resident told the Belmontonian an elderly occupant was seen exiting the building’s rear extension as the fire department apparatus arrived. The man was picked up by a fire fighter and placed into an ambulance and was taken to an unknown area hospital.

It took firefighters an hour to knock down the fire which destroyed the front right of the building and melted the aluminum siding of the neighboring house.

Frizzell said it was too early to determine what started the fire. He said while heavily damaged, about two-thirds of the structure did not suffer fire damage so it would not immediately be seen as a total loss.

Mutual aid came from Watertown, Cambridge, Arlington, Waltham and Weston.

The 2,228 sq.-ft. house, built in 1910, was assessed at $142,000 with the total property valued by the town at $430,000. 

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