By Sera Congi, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) — Quincy fire investigators believe a house fire on Vassall Street was started by the careless disposal of smoking materials on the back porch of the second floor.

The blaze broke out around 3 a.m. in the two-family home. Four residents inside got out safely including a child and an elderly disabled woman.

Deputy Chief Gary Smyth says flames spread quickly from the porch into the home and attic. Flames were shooting through the roof into the dark sky.

“The fire made extensive headway before we got here into the attic,” he said.

It was so intense that firefighters had to pull out of the building for their own safety and battle the blaze from the outside.

“I never saw flames like that go so high,” said neighbor Gladys Caldwell.

There was also concern the fire would spread to nearby homes. Residents were evacuated as a precaution. But firefighters managed to contain the flames to one building.

Several neighbors were jolted out of bed by the chaos. They say it was tough to watch the fire do so much damage.

“I walked out on the porch and immediately started crying. I’ve never someone’s house just on fire like that,” neighbor Robin Dean said. “Our cottage has burned but it’s not the same thing, it’s where she lives.”

The displaced residents are being helped by neighbors and the Red Cross.


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