NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) - Firefighters say a space heater is to blame for a fire that sent nearly a dozen residents outside in single-digit temperatures overnight.
It broke out around 12:30 Thursday morning at a six-family home on Harwich Street, off Acushnet Avenue.
All 11 people inside the home were able to get out safely, but were forced to wait in the cold while firefighters battled both the fire and the elements.
Mark Ferreira was one of the residents hoping to return to his warm apartment.
"It's crazy. It's probably like zero with the chill factor," Ferreira said. "It's been a cold couple hours out here."
The Red Cross was called in to help residents. Two of the residents were put up in a local hotel, and given comfort kits along with money for food.
The other nine residents were able to return to their apartments, after firefighters restored heat to the building.
A sanding truck had to be called in, because the used to fight the fire left a sheet of black ice on the ground by the home.
That includes not leaving them unattended, and keeping them away from children, pets and combustible materials.