Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fire Kills Melrose Ave. Woman

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—The Lithuanian Village was surrounded by Brockton and State Police as they searched for a man who may have been at the scene of a fire on Melrose Avenue that took the life of an as yet identified woman who was living in what may be an illegal basement apartment.
Fire Chief Richard Francis said firefighters were called to the two-story Melrose Avenue house at about 11 p.m. Saturday and found the woman in the basement.
He said she suffered from smoke inhalation and was raced to Brockton Hospital.
Francis said en-route emergency personnel resuscitated the woman, but she went into cardiac arrest and died at the hospital.
Officials have yet to release the woman’s name.
While firefighters extinguished the blaze at about Midnight, police fanned out and surrounded the Village, setting up a perimeter from Ames Street, to Mulberry, and all along E. Ashland as they searched for a man who is belived to have been with the woman before the fire broke out.
“He is a person of interest,” Francis said.
Francis said neighbors told officials the man was a recent boyfriend and took off running shortly after the blaze broke out.
The man was described as a skinny Hispanic and possibly wearing a black baseball hat and orange jacket.
State Police brought in canine units and a State Police Air-Wing helicopter flew from Plymouth to Brockton at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday to aid in the search.
The helicopter circled the Village for more than hour, but did not locate the wanted man.
A man was apprehended in a marsh behind National Grid on East Ashland Street, however it was determined he was not the right guy.
Francis said the fire is under investigation and could not say immediately what caused the blaze.
Officials believe the woman may have been living in an illegal basement apartment.

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