Firefighters Continue To Fight Flames After Crash And Fire in Fall River

Source: WBZ-TV/YouTube

FALL RIVER, MA (WBZ-AM) —Hotspots continue to be a problem at an apartment complex in Fall River after a massive fire destroyed it on New Year's Day. 

The Four Winds Apartments building on North Main Street caught on fire around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday after a car crashed into it, causing significant damage to the three-story building. 

Two women were inside the car. The driver, 72-year-old Judith Mauretti of Fall River, was killed. A 75-year-old passenger, who has not been identified, is in critical condition at a hospital in Rhode Island.

During the crash, the car hit the building's utility room, clipping the gas main, according to Fall River Fire Chief John D. Lynch. Natural gas fueled the fire throughout the building. 

"It must have been a high rate of speed they traveled into that because they ruptured the gas lines," Lynch said. "So, it made it pretty tough to fight the fire. And obviously, it spread the fire quite quickly." 

Approximately 50 units were destroyed or damaged, leaving residents living in those units displaced. The building is in danger of collapsing. 

Several firefighters are being treated for exhaustion.

There’s no word yet on what caused the crash, but investigators say that foul play is not suspected.

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