WORCESTER — Two more bodies have been found following the deadly fire that swept through the apartment building located at 2 Gage Street Saturday.
According to acting Fire Chief Martin Dyer, on Monday, the Massachusetts State Police and the Auburn Fire Department continued their investigation with canines they each brought to the scene. By around 8 a.m., the third victim was recovered, the fourth was found in the afternoon.
The investigation was stalled Sunday morning when those involved realized there were snakes in the building. According to Dyer, the Environmental Police were called in to remove a number of snakes before the investigation could continue. Dyer added that it’s unknown how dangerous the snakes were, although they did survive the blaze.
The scene of the fire is still under investigation. Dyer said at least 20 residents have been displaced, but investigators are still trying to figure out the exact number.
The Worcester Police Department initially reported that Saturday’s fire left two people dead and three injured.
The fire reportedly began at 3:31 a.m. Saturday. Fire fighters arrived three minutes after the call came in, where they observed fire billowing out of the third floor of the six-apartment building. As they were putting their first hose lines into operation, a resident jumped from a third-floor window. The resident was treated at the scene and taken to UMass Medical Center with serious injuries. By 4 p.m., firefighters were still putting out hot spots in the building.
“The extinction proved to be extremely challenging, requiring firefighters remain on scene throughout the day on Saturday,” Dyer told MassLive.
2 Gage Street, where the fire began, has been assessed as a total loss. Two adjacent buildings, 5 Eastern Avenue and 4 Gage Street, also sustained serious damage, although the total amount is still unknown.
The names of those who passed in the fire have not yet been released, but their next of kin have been notified, Dyer said.
The investigation into the cause of the fire is active and ongoing.