Fire at Pollo Campero treacherous, but controlled quickly

Fire at Pollo Campero  treacherous, but controlled quickly

A Chelsea firefighter fighting the stunning blaze created by Pollo Campero in Park Square on Sunday
night. The popular restaurant was a total loss, but owners said they intend to re-build.

Heavy smoke poured from the popular Pollo Campero restaurant in Park Square on Sunday night, with firefighters facing treacherous conditions that forced their evacuation numerous times as they tried to put out the stunning fire.

In the end, crews battled and made quick work of it – getting it out within an hour.

Chief Len Albanese said it is still under investigation this week, and that it was a total loss.

“The fire is still under investigation; however, I can report at this time that it appears that the fire started in a concealed space within a wall, then traveled to the loft space above the ceiling where the fire was allowed to burn for some time before breaking out and activating the Fire Alarm system,” he said. “This would account for the major fire condition on arrival even though the building had a working fire alarm system. Also, there were no sprinklers within the structure. The fire remains under investigation for a definitive cause that will be reported upon completion.”

There were no civilian injuries, but one firefighter was injured.

On Sunday evening, at 11:40 p.m. Chelsea Fire Alarm received an alarm of fire from Box 1134 for the Pollo Campero restaurant located at 115 Park St. First arriving companies from Chelsea E2 and L1 under the command of Capt. Phil Rogers reported heavy smoke showing on arrival from the rear of the building. C4 Deputy Wayne Ulwick arrived on scene assuming command and immediately ordered the Working Fire. Due to the heavy smoke and reports of heavy fire within the interior of the building, a Second Alarm was requested bringing companies from Revere, Everett, Boston and MassPort to the scene. Crews were ordered out of the building several times due to conditions rapidly deteriorating from heavy fire conditions within the structure forcing firefighters to attack the fire with defensive operations using blitz guns, hand lines and ladder pipes

The fire was brought under control within an hour.

The Boston Sparks Club under the command of President Paul Boudreau responded to the scene supplying Re-Hab and refreshments for the firefighters. Chelsea Police also provided traffic and crowd control during fire. Crews from Medford and Boston provided mutual aid during the fire.

Chief Albanese said it was a defensive fight for firefighters because the structure was too far along to be saved. Nevertheless, owners are determined to rebuild. “It was determined that the fire was well involved within the structure, and crews were ordered out of the building and proceeded with a defensive fire attack,” he said. “Given the time of day, a closed business and no reports of occupants, this was the safest course of action given that very early on it was apparent that this building could not be saved. Members of Fire Prevention are working with the ownership, who reported to us that they intend to rebuild as soon as possible.”

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Healthy Chelsea Launches New Website

Healthy Chelsea Launches New Website

The Healthy Chelsea Coalition has just launched a new website.

Heathy Chelsea was founded in 2010 when obesity was identified as the city’s top health concern through a community health needs assessment (CHNA) conducted by Mass General’s Center for Community Health Improvement.

Two years later, the coalition voted to expand its focus as residents and community partners identified substance use and its effects, including violence and public safety, as the city’s top health concern. From its inception, Healthy Chelsea has enjoyed substantial support from City leadership including the City Manager, Director of Health and Human Services, the School Department, Chelsea Police Dept. and others.

Through the new website, Jennifer Kelly, Director of Healthy Chelsea, is “excited to showcase all the great work that we are doing with our community partners. We also hope to educate residents about our programs and to encourage their participation in these important efforts.”

Coalition priorities featured on the site center around healthy eating and living strategies in both the schools and larger community; the Youth Food Movement (YFM) internship program, which allows high school and middle school students to advocate for higher-quality food in their school; promoting a trauma sensitive city; increasing community connection; and, a relatively new initiative focused on early childhood development.

Kelly is especially happy to talk about the recently funded youth substance use prevention work. Through a federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant and state Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative (SAPC) initiative, the coalition has hired two new staff members who are engaging youth and parents while also working with various community partners to implement proven strategies to reduce substance use disorders.

Healthy Chelsea is supported by the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI).

Mass General’s Vice President of Community Health, Joan Quinlan, said, “We are so proud of the work that Healthy Chelsea is doing and of our strong partnership with the Chelsea community. Now, with the launch of their new website, everyone can learn more about their programs and the significant impact they are making.”

Kelly added, “It’s wonderful to be able to promote what can happen when residents and community partners come together for the health and well-being of their community.”

Visit to learn more about their focus areas and programs; staff profiles; community partners; news and upcoming events; and, much more.

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AMAC: Aging is a Disease and Science is Determined to Find a ‘Cure’ for It

AMAC: Aging is a Disease and Science is Determined to Find a ‘Cure’ for It

Is old age a disease?  Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], says a significant amount of scientific research indicates that aging is, indeed, a disease.  “More important there are many who believe it is a disease with a cure.”

Weber cites the work of Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a well-known biomedical gerontologist.  His focus is on extending life spans by intervening at the cellular level, repairing damaged cells and in turn extending life.

Some call de Grey a “mad scientist” but there is lots of independent study being conducted by those in the scientific mainstream to indicate that he is on the right track.

Most recently, researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Brighton in the UK released the results of a study that showed aging cells can be repaired.  They used naturally occurring chemicals to treat aging human cells with remarkable results.

“When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn’t believe it.  These old cells were looking like young cells.  It was like magic.  I repeated the experiments several times and in each case, the cells rejuvenated.  I am very excited by the implications and potential for this research,” according to Exeter’s Dr. Eva Latorre, one the principal authors of the research report.

Meanwhile, notes Weber, the New York Times reports that the study of the human aging process has evolved to the point where the focus is now on what are called “supercentenarians,” individuals who live longest of all.

“It used to be that a person who reached the ripe old age of 100 was a rarity.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, recently reported that the number of Americans over the age of 100 has grown by 44-percent since the year 2000.  The U.S. today is home to more than 72,000 centenarians,” says the AMAC chief.

But the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University, a leading medical investigative group concentrating on how we grow old, believes healthy aging is all in the genes, particularly the genes of the very, very old.  The study says on its Web site “the genetic influence becomes greater and greater with older and older ages, especially beyond 103 years of age.”

Whether the cellular approach or the genetic approach is ultimately successful in increasing the life span of more people in the future, Weber points out that living an extra long life can be fraught with financial danger.  It will require a whole new way of thinking about retirement.  Modern medicine has already extended longevity and that has resulted in fewer of us being able to retire.  Many more people these days have given up on the notion of full retirement at the traditional age of 65.  We stay in our jobs longer than we might like or we find ways of supplementing our incomes.

But for many elderly Americans, finding work to supplement their incomes is not an option.  Social Security is what puts food on their tables.  It’s their principal source of income, meager as it might be, and they would face cruel hardships if their monthly checks were cut.  For them, the fact that Social Security faces major fiscal challenges in the coming years is a scary prospect.

“We need to focus, as a nation, on how the less fortunate of us will cope in the brave new world of centenarians and supercentenarians.  How will they cope with their everyday lives?  For them, it is not a benefit-it is a necessity and it is imperative that our lawmakers find and enact the fixes that will keep Social Security viable for the long term.  For our part, AMAC remains relentless in its pursuit of solutions in our ongoing meetings with Congressional leaders.  We’ve vowed never to give up and we won’t,” says Weber.

The Association of Mature American Citizens [] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.  Live long and make a difference by joining us today at

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Fire Breaks Out at Elderly Housing Development

By Paul Koolloian

On Saturday July 2nd at 2:10 pm Chelsea Fire Fighters responded to Box 236 located at the Elderly Housing Development at Sixth and Walnut Streets.

Upon arrival crews from E2 and T1 under the command of Deputy John Quatieri reported a heavy smoke condition on floor 2 but were hampered in locating the source of the fire. After forcing entry to several apartments crews located a kitchen fire and advanced a 1 ¾ attack line to attack the fire. As smoke poured through the building several residents began to appear at their windows to escape the heavy smoke before a primary search could be conducted. Deputy Quatieri immediately ordered the Working Fire and crews from E1 and L2 were directed to the first and second floors to conduct a primary and secondary search and evacuate trapped residents while E3 stood by as the Rapid Intervention Company.

At the height of the fire FF Robert Delaney of E1 conducting a search for occupants rescued a Chiahuahua from a smoke filled second floor apartment. A resident that was also rescued by Fire Fighters and suffering from smoke inhalation refused medical treatment.

The fire which was confined to a kitchen on the second floor of 38 Sixth Street was brought under control in about 20 minutes and tenants were allowed to re-enter their apartments.

Chelsea Housing responded to the scene to clean up the affected areas.

Chelsea Fire Prevention is investigating the cause of the fire.

Chelsea Firefighters responded to a fire at the Elderly Housing Development at Sixth and Walnut Streets.

Chelsea Firefighters responded to a fire at the Elderly Housing
Development at Sixth and Walnut Streets.

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Two Working Fires in High-Rise Buildings Keep CFD Running

By Paul Koolloian

Chelsea Firefighters were kept quite busy over the weekend responding to two serious fires that broke out at two high-rise developments on Admirals Hill, including one at the Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCFL).

The first fire, which occurred Friday morning, April 8, almost turned tragic when ,according to reports circulating local media outlets, 96-year-old Charles Lanzillo (a former Chelsea Record employee) became trapped inside his third floor apartment after materials being used to renovate the apartment caused a sudden explosion and fire.

He was rescued by his daughter, former Chelsea Director of Public Buildings Joan Lanzillo, who happened to be visiting him at the time of the fire.

Firefighters responded to Box 915 at the Chelsea Village Apartments at 5 Admirals Way after receiving an alarm activation and a telephone report of a fire on the third floor. Chelsea E3 under the command of Acting Lt. Purcell was in the immediate area and first to arrive.

Upon arrival they reported a heavy smoke condition and fire that was contained to one apartment on the third floor and requested the next due Engine Company to fill the standpipe systems so they could charge an attack line on the fire.

After arriving on scene, Deputy Chief Ulwick assumed command and immediately ordered the working fire. Crews from T1 and L2 assisted E3 in quickly knocking down the main body of fire while crews from E1 and Everett E2 and L1 who were specially called to the fire to assist with search/rescue and evacuation of residents on the upper floors. Members of the Chelsea Fire Investigation Unit, as well as the State Fire Marshals Office, also responded to the scene. Power was also terminated to the affected areas. The fire is currently under investigation.

The second fire occurred on Saturday morning, April 9, as Firefighters responded to the LFCFL located at 165 Captains Row after Chelsea Fire Alarm received a Box Alarm activation from the facility. While en route, a call was received reporting a stove fire on the sixth floor. Upon arrival, firefighters under the command of Deputy Robert Cameron encountered a heavy smoke condition as well as a stove fire that was extending to the walls and ceiling in the east wing kitchen on the sixth floor.

Crews from E2 and L1 utilized the fifth floor standpipe to knock down the main body of fire as crews from E1, 3 and L2 along with facility staff safely evacuated and sheltered several residents into the west wing until the fire was brought under control.

Cataldo Ambulance crews also responded to the scene to evaluate several patients on the fourth floor complaining of respiratory issues. Chelsea Fire Prevention and members from ISD also responded to the scene.

The fire is under investigation

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Police Briefs 05-28-2015

Police Briefs 05-28-2015


Last Thursday evening, Chelsea 911 received several calls for a reported fire at 22 Normandy Rd.

Upon arrival Chelsea Engine 1, under the command of Capt. Thompson, reported smoke showing from the first floor and located a fire in the kitchen. Firefighters immediately stretched a line into the building and knocked down the fire before it had extended to the upper floor. With no Ladder Truck in service mutual aid had to be requested from Revere and Everett, who each dispatched a ladder company to the scene. After the fire was knocked down, firefighters discovered a gas container within the immediate area of the fire and removed it from the building. Deputy Zalewski requested Fire Prevention to respond to scene.

The fire was confined to the kitchen area and is currently under investigation.

Cataldo Ambulance also treated one of the residents of the apartment for an unknown injury. Above, Firefighter Brian Swift stretches a hose line into the Normandy Road building.


Chelsea Detectives are investigating a stabbing that occurred Tuesday, May 26, at 8:26 p.m. at the corner of Chester Avenue and Shawmut Streets. Officers where dispatched to 58 Bellingham St. and observed a 17 year old male victim who received two stab wounds to the upper body. The victim told officers that he and a friend were attacked by two young males for no apparent reason while walking on Chester Avenue near Shawmut Street. The victim’s friend was able to get away and was not located by police. The victim told officers he made it to Bellingham Street where he had a family member call for help. The victim was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital and is listed in stable condition.

Chelsea Detectives are continuing the investigation.


Chelsea Fire and Police responded to the Chelsea Yacht Club Wednesday morning after receiving reports that a person had jumped from the upper level of the Tobin Bridge. The victim was located in the water and immediately removed by Chelsea firefighters and police. Chelsea Fire members, as well as Cataldo Ambulance personnel, prepared the victim for transport. The victim was transported to Mass General Hospital with serious injuries.

Chelsea and State Police are investigating.


State Police detectives attached to the Suffolk DA’s office are assisting Chelsea Police in the investigation into the shooting of a 17-year-old Chelsea man on Tudor Street May 25.

Chelsea Police remain the primary agency of jurisdiction, as the victim has survived thus far. Evidence collected in an ongoing investigation indicates that shortly before midnight on May 25, the man was shot while standing near 46 Tudor St. He suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital. No arrests have been made at this time. The investigation is active. State Police Crime Scene Services troopers responded to photograph and document the scene. State Police Ballistics Section troopers also responded to recover ballistic evidence.

Police are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related.


The Chelsea Fire Department has not been bashful in drawing attention to the fact that its Ladder 2 truck has been out of service for nearly 60 days, and pointing that out has led to a mutual aid of a different kind.

Several residents of Chelsea, whose names are still unknown, have been gathering signatures on a petition at the Market Basket and other locations around the City to voice outrage for the lack of staffing and equipment for the CFD.

The petition demands that City leaders replace Ladder 2 and calls for greater staffing on the CFD as well.


The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department is warning citizens of a telephone scam involving a man falsely claiming to work for the Civil Process Division.

As part of the scam, the caller allegedly claims to be a Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Deputy and informs victims that they’ve failed to report for jury duty and are subject to arrest and possible imprisonment unless they pay a fine to settle the matter. Victims are then instructed by the alleged perpetrator to purchase a prepaid credit card from their local store and provide the number to the scammer via telephone. The victim is then told to deliver the card in person at what is the official address of the Civil Process Division at 132 Portland Street in an effort to make the victim believe that the caller is an official representative of the Division.

“We want citizens to know that this is most definitely a scam and to take the proper precautions against this individual or individuals,” said Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins. “Any arrests carried out by our civil deputies are done in person, never by telephone, and any financial transactions are performed inside the Civil Process Division at 132 Portland Street, not over the phone or on the street.”

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department advises that citizens who receive similar calls should not give out any personal information to the caller and should immediately report the call to their local law enforcement agency. The Department also asks that you call The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Investigative Division (SID) at: (617) 704-6544.

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Chelsea Property Owner Indicted for Procurement Fraud

Chelsea Property Owner Indicted for Procurement Fraud

A Chelsea area property owner and real estate broker has been indicted in connection with procurement fraud and falsifying a lead inspection report, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced last week.

Nidia Peguero, age 39, of Chelsea, was indicted on Thursday by a Suffolk County Grand Jury on the charges of Procurement Fraud (2 counts) and Uttering False or Forged Records.

“Exposure to lead can be extremely dangerous, especially for young children,” Coakley said. “We allege that this defendant falsified a lead inspection report in order to be able to accept government-funded housing assistance payments from a tenant with three children under six years old.”

The AG’s Office began an investigation into this matter after it was referred by the Department of Public Health. Authorities allege that in October 2011, Peguero, a licensed realtor, submitted a falsified lead inspection compliance letter for a Chelsea property her husband owned to the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP) in order for him to be approved as a landlord eligible to receive government-funded rental assistance payments.

MBHP serves as a regional administrator for the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and administers both the Section 8 and HomeBase housing assistance programs in the Boston metropolitan area. A landlord must submit appropriate documentation to MBHP to become eligible to receive rental assistance payments. Further, if there are to be children under the age of six living in the unit, a landlord must submit documentation showing that a passing lead paint inspection was conducted on the property.

According to authorities, after a tenant of the Chelsea property, who at the time had three children under the age of six, applied to receive housing assistance, MBHP received a letter of lead inspection compliance from Peguero. The letter was purportedly signed by a licensed lead inspector. However, a review of the letter conducted by MBHP and inspectors from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Program determined the documentation to be fraudulent. Investigators allege that Peguero altered a prior proper lead inspection report prepared for her parents for a different property and submitted the falsified document to MBHP.

Further investigation revealed that Peguero submitted the same forged lead letter in May 2010 to Children’s Services of Roxbury in order to receive payments under a different state housing subsidy program called Flex Fund, which is administered by DHCD.

Peguero will be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on a later date.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Andrew Rainer, Chief of the AG’s Environmental Crimes Strike Force, with assistance from the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program of the Department of Public Health, which was established to prevent, screen, diagnose and treat lead poisoning and the sources of potential lead poisoning.


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Police Briefs 03-07-2013

Police Briefs 03-07-2013

Monday, February 25

Fransico Cruz, 31, of 8 Burma Road, Chelsea, was arrested for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and one way violation.

Luis Londono, 38, of 3415 Parsons Street, Other, NY, was arrested for disturbing the peace and driving under the influence.

Pedro Chavez-Lopez, 19, of 12 Trinity Avenue, Lynn, was arrested for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and stop sign violation.

Michael Kane, 27, of 5 Greentree Lane, Revere, was arrested for shoplifting.

Christian Ramirez Rivera, 18, of 114 Shurtleff Street, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.

Annelise Hanlon, 26, of 4 Heritage Lane, Saugus, was arrested for felony default warrant.

Eric Estrada, 45, of 100 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for warrant misdemeanor default.

Tuesday, February 26

Ines D. Carballo, 36, of 117 Winnisimmet Street, Chelsea, was arrested for aggravated assault and battery on a pregnant person and assault and battery.

Omar Z. Kazen, 37, of 77 Burma Road, Chelsea, was arrested for straight felony warrant.

Alexandria Orlow, 20, of 680 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for unarmed robbery, unarmed assault to rob and assault and battery.

Wednesday, February 27

Elvin Jose Lopez, 30, of 88 Williams Street, Chelsea, was arrested for warrant misdemeanor default.

Johnathan Belton, 39, of 39 Boylston, Boston, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle with suspended license, brakes violation, possession of electric stun gun, and carrying a dangerous weapon.

Manuel Vega, 54, of 80 Park Avenue, Revere, was arrested for three counts of violation of abuse order.

Daniel Porrazzo, 48, of 43 Kinsley Road, Acton, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle with suspended license and left lane violation.

Vinicio Estaban, 27, of 538 Summer, Lynn, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle and warrant misdemeanor default.

Elmer Esteban, 24, of 538 Summer Street, Lynn, was arrested for warrant misdemeanor default.

Sharon Palacios, 22, of 107 Malboro, Chelsea, was arrested for two counts of straight felony warrants.

Thursday, February 28

Demitrios Galatis, 38, of 128 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for default felony warrant.

Pedro Roman, 22, of 227 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for default felony warrant.

Elizabeth J. Tucker, 55, of 227 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for default felony warrant.

Melissa Fernandez, 27, of 76 Harvard Street, Chelsea, was arrested for default felony warrant.

Heidi Vasquez, 21, of 50 Heard Street, Chelsea, was arrested for default felony warrant.

Kimberly Smith, 42, of 65 Prospect, Watertown, was arrested for shoplifting.

Eduardo Martinez, 43, of 147 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for four counts of simple assault, four counts of forcible rape, attempt to bribe a juror and witness/juror/police/court office intimidation.

Joaquin Ajtum, 34, of 54 Heard Street, Chelsea, was arrested for three counts of forcible rape on a child, and witness/juror/police/court office intimidation.

Jose Gonzalez, 30, of 587 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for violation of prevention order.

Andrea K. Dunbrack, 22, of 25 Seward Road, Stoneham, was arrested for default felony warrant.

Tomas Josue Padilla, 33, of 16 London Street, East Boston, was arrested for disorderly  conduct and resisting arrest.

Friday, March 1

Carlos Arias, 43, of 35 Marlborough Street, Chelsea, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

Shariff Hussein, 44, homeless, was arrested for warrant misdemeanor default.

Enrique Arroyo, 50, of 777 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, was arrested for shoplifting.

Toribio Castillo, 35, of 268 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for distribution of Class A drug, conspiracy to violate drug law, furnishing a false name and witness/juror/police/court office intimidation.

Christine Gouveia, 26, of 136 Addison Street, Chelsea, was arrested for conspiracy to violate drug law and possession of Class A drug.

Edward Sobolewski, 26, of 136 Addison Street, Chelsea, was arrested for conspiracy to violate drug law and possession of Class A drug.

Eleazar Vejar, 49, of 40 Rockland Avenue, Malden, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, red light violation and failing to wear a seat belt.

Saturday, March 2

Manuel Dejesus Segovia, 31, of 165 Walnut Street, Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Abraham Almodovar, 26, of 12 Clark Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for default felony warrant and possession of a Class B drug.

Sunday, March 3

Driles Artica, 33, of 202 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for malicious destruction of property and straight felony warrant.

Kenneth E. Leslie, 24, of 96 Bellingham Street, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Fredis O. Ayala, 35, of 24 Orange Street, Chelsea, was arrested for indecent exposure and furnishing a false name.

Milton Garmendia, 24, of 54 Addison Street, Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct.


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