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Woman, Child Die In Blaze At Shelter For Battered Women

October 29, 1985

BOSTON (AP) _ A fire in a kitchen sent smoke billowing through a shelter for battered women and their children, killing one mother and her infant son, and leaving another woman and her month-old child critically injured, officials said.

″It was just a fast-moving fire,″ said Boston Fire Commissioner Leo Stapleton, who was at the scene of the blaze late Monday in the city’s South End section.

Mark Douville, the night administrator at Boston City Hospital, said Pat Morrison and her son, Jamal Morrison, who was about a year old, died in the hospital’s emergency room from smoke inhalation.

Mona Roach and her 27-day-old son, Michael Roach, were both being treated in intensive care units for smoke inhalation, Douville said.

Both were on the danger list but in stable condition, he said.

A firefighter received minor injuries and was treated at New England Medical Center, officials said.

The shelter, Casa Myrna Vasquez, was housed in a three-story, red-brick townhouse.

Cause of the fire, reported about 11:40 p.m., was not known, Stapleton said. It apparently broke out in a first-floor kitchen, which was ablaze when firefighters arrived, he said.

Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Mochen said smoke from the fire went up a back staircase, flooding the entire building. He said there were half a dozen women and about 12 children inside.

″A couple of the children were unconscious,″ Stapleton said.

Stapleton estimated the damage at $50,000.

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