Hull man suffers burns in fire he says started in space heater; firefighters hampered by wind, ice

A Hull man suffered third-degree burns over 35 percent of his body after combating a fire he said was sparked in a space heater shortly after midnight, according to a fire official.

The resident, who was not identified, was taken by MedFlight to Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Efforts to extinguish the blaze took more than five hours as frigid weather conditions around the seaside home froze water from the firefighters’ hoses as soon as it hit the flaming house.

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Fire officials were met with “heavy fire” when they arrived at the single-family home at 1092 Nantasket Ave., where the 62-year-old resident lived alone, at 12:05 a.m., said Captain Kevin Breen.

The fire reached two alarms, summoning help from Hingham, Cohasset, Scituate, and Norwell departments.

“The long duration of the fire was because companies were hampered by wind and cold weather—there was a lot of icing on scene,” Breen said in a phone interview this morning. “As soon as the guys sprayed water onto the building, it iced up and everywhere they were standing was ice, and then the building was covered in ice so they had to climb on ladders covered in ice.”

The home, which sits on the water front, had storm shutters over its windows, which posed another obstacle for firefighters.

“We had to break in to get access to the interior of the building,” Breen said.

The fire was extinguished at 5:30 a.m.

One firefighter was transported to South Shore Hospital with a knee injury after he slipped on the ice.

“The statement from the homeowner is that the fire had started with the space heater and he attempted to put it out, and in the process experienced burns to his arms and back,” he said.

Breen said the cause of the fire is still under investigation but officials are “leaning toward the space heater at this time.”

The house, he said, “is a total loss.”