SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Shrewsbury resident, 86 year old Richard Hosking, perished last night as the result of his injuries sustained in a major house fire at his home at 24 Artemas Avenue. Shrewsbury firefighters arrived at the scene of the fire within minutes of the 911 call, at approximately 7:30 last night, to find the Anne Hoskin, 85, already outside. She reported to the first men on the scene that her husband was still inside, at which point they raced into the burning, smoke filled structure in search of him. They’re efforts were made more challenging by the somewhat unusual floor plan of the home, known affectionately to locals as “the castle,” but despite that, rescue workers located Mr. Hosking quickly, and extricated him from the building to a waiting ambulance. Both Mr. and Mrs Hosking were taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center, but Mr. Hosking ultimately succumbed from his injuries.
No firefighters were injured as a result, which is amazing given the incredible smoke and carnage at the scene. It never ceases to amaze me that we have brave men like this who are willing to run into a fire, but I know I personally salute each and every one of them, and feel comforted in the knowledge that if I were inside, someone would be willing to lay their life on the line to rescue me. Next time you see one of our local firefighters, most definitely give them a big salute.
This is the second fatal house fire in the last year or so, the previous one being the victim on South Quinsigamond Ave, who had a home filled with Oxygen tanks. Last week, a fire up on Birch BrushRd caused major damage as well, so perhaps taking some time to do a quick safety check of all of our homes, change those smoke detector batteries, and work on a family safety plan, might be warranted.
Mutual aid on the scene was provided by firefighting teams from Westboro, Northboro and Boylston, with the Worcester Fire Department coming in to cover staffing at Central Fire Headquarters. That is actually a pretty wonderful arrangement, and I know all of us here in Shrewsbury truly appreciate the camaraderie that exists with our neighbors in the surrounding towns.
The State Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire, as per protocol. Preliminary investigation seems to point to an electrical cause, but a final report will be released once the investigation is completed.