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Boston EMTs Save 14 From Blaze

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Two rescue workers rushed into a burning building in Mattapan yesterday and evacuated 14 people, including two infants, authorities said.

No one was injured in the blaze, which broke out shortly after 6 a.m. at 595 River St., but at least seven people were left homeless, said Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.

A 911 caller reported that the address was 312 River St., about a block from the Emergency Medical Service station. So EMS Lt. Denis O'Keefe and EMT Robert Stearns headed out to River and Gladeside streets.

When they arrived, there was was no sign of fire at that address, so they drove to the end of the street and turned around.

"All of a sudden, I saw a big plume of smoke,'' O'Keefe said.

The two rushed to a triple-decker, where they found fire at the front of the top floor, he said.

They called in the new address and ran inside, where fire alarms were going off, and the people on the first floor were coming out, Stearns said.

O'Keefe and Stearns made their way through the smoke, evacuating 14 people in all, including two infants and a man on crutches, he said.

``We guided the folks out of the smoke-filled building,'' O'Keefe said. ``Fortunately, everybody got out safe.''

Firefighters arrived within minutes and quickly extinguished the one-alarm blaze, while the EMTs kept the infants and other tenants warm with blankets.

At least four adults and three children on the third floor were left homeless, MacDonald said. The Red Cross was helping to relocate them yesterday.

The fire caused about $125,000 in damage to the wood-frame building and was caused by careless disposal of a cigarette, MacDonald said.



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