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Heat Overcomes Woman Stuck in Stalled Elevator

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

A Cambridge woman was injured during a fire in a Fresh Pond apartment complex on Rindge Ave. Sunday night.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Frank Murphy, Lamercie Marcelin, 56, suffered second and third degree burns on her face and hands, and also experienced possible respiratory problems. Marcelin is in stable but guarded condition, Murphy said.

The two-alarm fire was reported at 10:40 p.m. Firemen found a burning sofa bed in the elevator lobby of the ninth floor. Marcelin was discovered unconscious in an elevator, which had become stuck at the scene of the fire.

"I doubt very much that she knew there was a fire there until it was too late," Murphy said.

He said the intense heat and heavy smoke, combined with the lack of ventilation in the elevator probably overwhelmed Marcelin in one or two minutes.

The building is prone to elevator and other problems. According to residents, fire alarms frequently go off, but are usually false.

Murphy said the fire department visits the two buildings that make up the apartment complex about 20 times a month for various incidents.

Sunday night only one of three elevators in the building was working. After the first company of firefighters used it to reach the fire, the second company was forced to walk nine flights up. Murphy said this was not unusual for this building and that firefighters have had to walk up to the 22nd floor on occasion.

Repairs

Otis elevator company mechanics were on the scene Monday trying to fix the two elevators damaged by the fire. One is running on a temporary permit, but it is not known when the other will be in working condition, according to Ron Roberts, the building superintendent.

The fire department is still investigating the fire, Murphy said.

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