The following article is an excellent explaination on why Evacuation Chairs should be contained within multi level residential buildings.


Crews at the Towers at Chestnut Hill are working today to restore power to the housing complex, which was evacuated yesterday after a transformer fire in the basement of the south tower.

The fire knocked out power to both the north and south towers, forcing hundreds of residents to leave the building. Many of the residers were elderly and required assistance.

The Fire Department said earlier this morning crews were on scene working on the electrical problem and that they hoped to have things resolved by this evening. However, there has been no official word from the department as to when the power will be back on and residents can return.

According to an NStar spokesperson, the building management handles the workers who fix the problem. Once the management believes the problem is resolved, a city electrical inspector must come to check the work.

Once the work is approved by the city, NStar can then come in and regenerate the transformer, the spokesperson said.

Crews spent hours on scene yesterday evacuating residents floor-by-floor. EMTs and firefighters had to carry down residents using special evacuation chairs, as many of the tennants were elderly and could not climb down stairs.

The Red Cross responded to the scene, providing snacks and water for the residents. Later that night, the city partnered with the Red Cross to set up a shelter at Newton South High School, which provided water and snacks donated by Whole Foods.

According to Nancy Rowe, the director of communications for the Red Cross’ Eastern Mass. Region, around 25 resdients showed up to the high school shelter. Mayor Setti Warren also stopped by to greet the displaced tennants, Rowe said. 

However, the shelter did not stay open all night, Rowe said, as the displaced residents either found family to stay with or opted for a night at a local hotel.