Walpole apartments, music store badly damaged in fire

WALPOLE, MASS. (WHDH) - A Walpole apartment complex that is also home to a popular music store went up in flames Wednesday morning.

The fire, which was first reported around 11:30 a.m., appears to have broken out on one of the upper two floors of 942 East St., an eight-unit mixed-use downtown building.

Among the residents who weren’t home when the flames broke out was Katlyn Thibodeau, who said she fears she lost everything — including precious memories of her daughter.

“My daughter passed, and they gave me a memory box with her hair and footprints,” Thibodeau said. “It’s not something I can duplicate.”

Mark Lombardi, who lives on the second floor, said, “My whole life is in there. I assume it’s all going to be gone. It’s a strange feeling.”

A worker at a neighboring business ran into the burning building to make sure everyone made it out safely.

“I ran out the door, I pulled my phone out, and called 911,” said Lewis Grant.

The music store manager says he had no idea the building was on fire until the worker came running in to let him know.

“I went in and thanked him,” Greg DiGregorio said. “We’ve been here for 47 years, 46 years, so everyone knows this place. It’s just a landmark.”

This all happened a few hundred yards away from the town’s new fire department. The chief says that helped them put this out quickly.

“Having been right in our downtown district, right behind the firehouse, our response was extremely quick to this location,” Walpole Fire Chief Timothy Bailey said. “If this had been in any other area of town with the wind blowing the way it was, the fire could’ve been more extensive.”

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