Residents Displaced By Back Bay Fire Moving To New Homes

BOSTON (CBS) – A couple dozen city residents are looking for a new home after flames heavily damaged a century-old building Saturday in the Back Bay neighborhood of the city.

Tenant Kelly Heafy and her fiancé moved whatever they could save from their second-floor apartment on Saturday. The couple is regretting a fateful decision made in November.

“We determined the renters’ insurance to be not worthwhile, because, what are the odds?” she said.

Firefighters faced several challenges battling the blaze, which resulted in about $2.5 million in damages.

The building did not have a standpipe, said Steve MacDonald, a Boston Fire Department spokesman. “When you’re trying to lug hoses up several flights of stairs … you’re going through three or four hundred feet before you even get to the fire,” he said.

An insufficient sprinkler system contributed to the fire, MacDonald said.

The blaze, which has been linked to careless disposal of smoking materials, started in a housing unit that had only one sprinkler, he said. “Maybe we want to improve some of the codes,” he said. “It’s something to look at.”

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