A woman suffered severe burns in a four-alarm fire at an apartment building in the North End late Tuesday night. The fire was large enough that as many as 100 firefighters arrived at the scene. The fire at 26 Cooper St. started shortly after 11 p.m. An unidentified woman was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with severe injuries.
The four alarm blaze required the large number of fire personnel because of concerns that the fire could spread to other buildings, however the flames were ultimately confined to the three-story, brick building. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Burn injuries can be caused in many different ways, including explosions, heat radiation, chemical spills, electricity and exposure to other toxic materials. These often debilitating injuries can also be endured indirectly, by plastics, clothing and other materials that melt onto the skin. Burns are described by medical professionals in “degrees.” For example, a “third degree” burn destroys both the epidermis (outer skin) and dermis (deep layer of skin consisting of vascular connective tissue and nerves). Such a burn is also known as a “full thickness” burn. A “first degree” burn affects only the skin’s outer layer, whereas a “second degree” or “partial thickness” burn affects both layers, but to a lesser extent than the third degree injury.
Burn injuries, because there is often nerve involvement and extensive treatment which may include skin grafts, can be among the most painful for the victims. It is critically important that such injuries be treated immediately by appropriate medical specialists including pain specialists and plastic surgeons.