Couple severely injured in Fall River fire

A man and a woman were in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital after suffering injuries following a house fire Monday in Fall River.

The man and the woman were first-floor tenants at the two-story duplex on Fulton Street. The fire started in their apartment at about 2 a.m.

Neighbors on the other side of the duplex were awakened by smoke detectors, including off-duty Somerset firefighter Curt Scherny.

"He said, 'My girlfriend's inside.' I went in to try to get her from the burning room but the smoke was knee high. I said, 'I can't get her out at this time,'" Scherny said.

Fall River firefighters arrived quickly and pulled the woman out. They said she was found in a bedroom.

Initially the woman wasn't breathing, but crews revived her.

The landlord, who lives above the couple, was rescued by his upstairs tenant.

"He was actually sleeping through it. I woke him up, got his pants on. We had to bring him down on this side and you could see the flames were spreading," said neighbor Jay Fournier.

Fire officials said the landlord is OK and staying with his granddaughter.

Investigators said the fire started in the living room, and that a candle burning in the room is believed to be the cause.