Man dies in 4-alarm Brighton fire; firetruck, SUV collide

Fire on Murdock Street in Brighton

Murdock Street fire. Photo by BFD.

The Boston Fire Department reports a fire at 105 Murdock St. went to four alarms after firefighters responded around 7:05 a.m. The fire spread to the neighboring 107 Murdock.

One man was found dead inside 105 Murdock St. The department says a neighbor may have prevented a worse toll by propping a ladder against the side of the building before firefighters arrived:

Two residents from the top floor came down that ladder as the firefighters were arriving. This person no doubt saved people.

The department adds the fire and death are now under investigation by its officers, the Boston Police homicide unit and the Suffolk County District Attorney's office - routine for a death like this.

The department reports 14 people lived just in the top floor and attic of the building, with 8 more people on the first and second floors.

As firefighters were battling the blaze, a car crashed into a firetruck at the scene. The department reports five firefighters, two people in the car and two residents were taken to the hospital.

The department estimates damage at $700,000 for 105 Murdock and $170,000 for 107 Murdock.

Firefighters battling the blaze (photo by BFD):

Firefighters on Murdock Street

Smoke rising above the area (photo by Aubrey Cole):

Murdock Street smoke

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    Comments

    Modern day town criers...

    By on

    Woke up this morning to the strong smell of smoke. No fire alarms, and I could also hear a helicopter so what did I do? Check twitter and Uhub of course! I'm about 3/4ths of a mile due south, and the wind seems to be strong enough that I've had to close my windows.

    Sympathies to the residents! :(

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    Same

    By on

    Pretty much mirrors my own experience too (howdy, neighbor!). Twitter let me know what was going on because with the smoke in the air and not hearing any sirens I thought for sure I was discovering something unreported much closer to my house than it actually was.

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    :'(

    By on

    I heard the sirens and news chopper this morning while I was heading out the door. I hope our neighbors are okay. If anyone has info on relief or donation efforts, please post here!

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    Lucky Escapes and Negligent Landlords

    By on

    Notice by the street view that it shows an AC in the attic window and no fire escape or other obvious additional entry/exit to that level. Glad this did not end up with another repeat of the Allston fire death of last year in such a situation. Attic or basement units or bedrooms are not typically legal in such wooden buildings, and when they are additional stairways or fire escapes are required.

    14 people seems like an awful lot for a 3 decker, based on the typical bedroom count in such. The Globe article on this reports:

    Those 14 reported residents share six bedrooms between them.

    When ISD is what it is, would not be surprised if it turns out the building had not been recently inspected.

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    I think BlackKat is getting

    By on

    I think BlackKat is getting at 14 people and 6 bedrooms means that 2 bedrooms have 3 people in them.

    That being said, and knowing the area well (I live the other side of St Joseph's from there) I would guess its like the house next to mine, which is a 5 (legal) bedroom Queen Anne 3 family, with a formal dining room and a living room on the first floor and second being used as a bedroom meaning there are 10 people living there with only 2 of them sharing a room.

    Add in a few couples sharing bedrooms (or Kids, that is a family neighborhood) 14 is not that crazy.

    Though I have no idea what ISD would say about that.

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    Okay, stand corrected.

    By on

    Okay, stand corrected.

    Family of 14 on the top 2 floors is more of a problem, though,

    Given the lower 2 floors each seemed to have 4 "bedrooms" a floor i would guess 3 in the attic, that's 7 "bedrooms" which is not uncalled for for a family of 14, if everyone is sharing a room.

    Also, zillow says "6 bedrooms" which lends some strength to the "walled off living room/dinning room"

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    Most triple deckers have a second staircase in the rear

    By on

    Fire escapes are usually found on buildings that don't have a second interior staircase (brick townhouses in the South End, Back Bay, etc). They're not so common in the triple decker jungles of South Boston, Dorchester, Somerville, Malden, Medford, etc. The dumpster in the yard in the Street View indicates that there had been some work done recently on that building, so chances are that ISD has been in there sometime in the past several years.

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    Per the City's permit search

    By on

    Three building permits were pulled on that locus between August and October of 2013 for interior renovations, plumbing and electrical work, so chances are very good that ISD inspected the property within the past year. The electric permit notes: "Complete rewire of (4) bedroom apartment on 2nd floor and add smoke detectors in front and rear hallway.". However, the Massachusetts Sanitary Code doesn't define what is a bedroom, just that any room with a window and over 150 square feet of floorspace may be used as a bedroom, so it could be that the rooms described on that permit aren't all bedrooms.

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    Triple decker floor layout

    By on

    It's not uncommon for the triple deckers to have either the living room or the dining room walled off as a bedroom. Its a little rarer to have them both walled off, which would make for 4 bedrooms, but would leave the kitchen and the bathroom as the only "common spaces".

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    Triple decker layouts

    By on

    My friends own a triple decker around the corner in Oak Square. There's 2 bedrooms, a third room that's an office off of the living room and a separate dining room. If you rearranged it just a little bit, you could have 4 bedrooms (living room, office, and 2 bedrooms) with the dining room serving as a living room instead for common space. Also 2 bathrooms. It's not impossible to get 4 bedrooms in your average triple decker with a single common room and kitchen along with 2 full bathrooms.

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    Car crash at the scene?

    By on

    How the hell does a car crash into a fire truck at the scene with such force as to send that many people to the hospital (which, luckily, is at the top of that street)? I know that people routinely ignore the stop signs in that grid-pattern neighborhood, but really, how does this happen? I heard the smoke was very heavy - was the visibility at street level impaired?

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    i saw a car accident being cleared

    By on

    I saw a car being put on a tow truck on Etna street, a block over.. it looked like an SUV that got broadsided by a large truck.. in this case it looked like a firetruck.

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    The department reports 14

    By on

    The department reports 14 people lived at 105 Murdock St., although not all were home at the time

    .
    Adam, from the Fire Dept Twitter link you provided:
    "This was a 3 family house. 4 adults floor 1; 4 adults floor 2 and approx a family of 14 in top floor and attic apt,"
    one would get the impression that there were 14 people on the top floor alone with a total of 22 people total in the entire house.

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