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Posted Thursday, May 17, 2007
Two brothers killed in Randolph fire
By John R. Ellement and Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff

Two brothers, ages 10 and 17, died in a violent fire in Randolph early this morning when intense flames blocked rescuers from entering their home, a fire official said.

valensky duguaran.jpg (29221 bytes)
emmanuel labranche.jpg (65164 bytes)
VALENSKY DUGUARAN, 10, shown in a family photo taken last year, died today, Thursday, May 17, 2007, with his brother in a fire at their home in Randolph, Mass. (Robert E. Klein for The Boston Globe) EMMANUEL LABRANCE, 17, seen above in a family photo taken two years ago, died today, Thursday, May 17, 2007, in a fire in Randolph, Mass. (Robert E. Klein for The Boston Globe)

Firefighters responded to the call on Union Street at 4:54 a.m. but had to battle the flames from outside the Cape Cod-style house and wait for help because the blaze was too intense, said Chief Charles D. Foley Jr. of the Randolph Fire Department.

"There was so much fire, they had to use a defensive mode before they were able to extinguish the fire and enter the building and locate the two victims," Foley said.

The fire does not appear to be suspicious, and witnesses have said that there were functioning smoke detectors in the house, despite preliminary reports to the contrary.

Eight people were in the house when flames erupted. The occupants included the four children of Valery and Yvrose Duguaran.

"I can't believe my sons are dead," said Valery Duguaran, 45, an MBTA Silver Line bus driver and part-time carpenter. "They were just loving boys, always hugging and always kissing."

The parents identified the victims as Valensky, 10, and Emmanuel, 17. Their other two children -- Joshua, Emmanuel's twin, and Yvenel, 12, were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton.

Joshua suffered burns on his elbow and hand but is expected to recover. Yvenel sustained minor injuries.

Authorities said the bodies of the brothers were found in a second-floor bedroom.

Across the street, Wallace Martins, 23, said he awoke to the flashing sirens of firetrucks, ran outside, and saw a man standing underneath a window.

"He was yelling jump, jump," Martins said.

A woman with an 11-month-old baby climbed out the window and jumped.

A young boy and a man in his early 20s ran from the flaming house "crying and screaming," Martins said.

A frustrated Foley blasted what he described as chronic budget cuts that left the initial response two firefighters short. In March, Randolph voters rejected a $4.16 million budget override that included $108,000 for the fire department that would have restored positions eliminated in recent years because of budget cuts.

"I can't promise you there would have been a different outcome," if they had more staffing, Foley said, but the initial fire fighting effort "would have been enhanced."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by local officials and the state fire marshal's office.

The blaze gutted the white house with the black shutters and caused some of the vinyl siding to melt. The rear of the home sustained the heaviest damage and was charred almost entirely black. Andrew Ryan and George Rizer of the Globe staff and Craig Nickels of Boston.com contributed to this report.

Reprinted from The Boston Globe, City and Region, online version, of Thursday, May 17, 2007.

2007 The New York Times Company

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