Well-Known Member of Cambridge Community Dies

by Emily Baird on September 27, 2010 at 8:04 am

A local doctor is dead following a fire last night at 430 North 9th Street in Cambridge.

A Cambridge police officer just happened to be patrolling the neighborhood when he saw smoke coming from a home at the corner of North 9th Street and Stewart Avenue. When units arrived at the scene, Cambridge Fire Captain Tim Milner says crews were notified that 52-year-old James Chlovechok was still in the home and firefighters began a search to locate him.

"They encountered some heavy fire conditions on the first floor and had to tackle that before they could get upstairs," says Milner.

It was a choice that proved to be very difficult for some of the firefighters who were close to the doctor.

"Even though we want to rescue the person, and that’s our priority-life safety-we still have to tackle the fire because if we ignore one, we’re going to get tackled by the other," says Milner.

Chlovechok was eventually found in an upstairs bedroom. He was removed from the home, crews attempted to revive him, and he was transported to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Milner says crews believe he died from smoke inhalation, but an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.

Chlovechok was well-known throughout the community.

"He was a nice guy, joking fun, and funny," says neighbor Raymond Keith.

"Always open and honest with his patients-straight forward. Never had an unkind word to say about anybody as far as I was concerned," says neighbor Michael Smith.

He owned a sports medicine facility just off Highland Avenue in Cambridge. While Chlovechok leaves behind family, his death is leaving imprints throughout the entire community.

"It’s scary. It’s horrible. I’ve never seen anything like that close to home," says Keith.

"It was pretty close, you know. I just think we lost a great member of our community, " says Smith.

"I think we’re going to fell the loss for a while," says Milner.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office assisted in the investigation. It was determined that the fire was accidental and attributed to an electronic event that occurred within the wall near the first floor dining room. It’s unclear right now whether or not there were working smoke detectors in the home.