NEW BEDFORD — An elderly man was killed and three others seriously injured in a fire on Chestnut Street in New Bedford on Thursday afternoon.

Fire officials said in a release that the man and a woman, both elderly, were rescued from the second floor of the home and were rushed to the hospital, where the man was pronounced dead.

The woman remains in critical condition.

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New Bedford fire crews responded to the single-family home at 260 Chestnut St. after multiple 911 calls at around 1:40 p.m. Thursday.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire coming out of the second story.

They used ground ladders get into the windows and went up the stairs, where they rescued the older man and woman.

Two other adult residents managed to escape and were also taken to St. Luke's Hospital for medical treatment.

Fire officials said the home had working smoke alarms.

"This is a devastating tragedy for a whole family," said New Bedford Fire Chief Scott Kruger.

"Our thoughts are with them and their loved ones right now."

State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said investigators don't yet know how the fire started, although it does not currently appear to be suspicious.

He noted, "we do know that most fire deaths take place at home."

The deadly incident comes less than a month after two men were killed in a rooming house fire in New Bedford's North End.

Ostroskey stressed the importance of every household having working smoke alarms and a home escape plan.

"Create a plan that includes two ways out, and practice both of them so you know what to do and where to go in an emergency," he stated.

"Remember that older adults face the greatest risk of death or serious injury in a fire and may need assistance getting out quickly."

New Bedford fire and police departments are investigating along with state police at the state fire marshal's office and the Bristol County District Attorney's office.

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