BROOKLINE (CBS)- A crew of about 50 firefighters were called to an apartment building in Brookline early Thursday morning. The two-alarm fire started right next door to the fire station on Washington Street.

Despite quickly dousing the flames, thick smoke still covered the area and put 15 residents in danger. On the top floor, a 12-year-old woke his sleeping parents to warn them.

“I just thought I need to get everybody out of the house,” said Arie Aviksis. “I couldn’t even get to the hallway because there was so much smoke.”

Arie and his parents were forced to leave using a back staircase. They were able to rescue the family cat, Aries, but just about everything was destroyed.

“There’s not exactly a room for the computer. All my Wii games are gone; the Wii is gone; Rock Band is gone; everything’s gone.” the Driscoll School student lamented.

His father, Felix Aviksis, is a self-employed plumber. He says the fire started in the basement where his wife Michelle’s art studio business was located.

Brookline Fire Department said the cause of the fire stemmed from a cigarette that was thrown next to the home.

The family lived in the building for more than 20 years but will stay with another son in Newton for the time being.

The Red Cross is assisting another dozen residents displaced from the six apartments. Some of them are staying at a nearby senior center while the State Fire Marshal and insurance companies investigate the cause.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury but is said to be doing well.


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