READING (CBS) – Flames ripped through a Reading condo building Thursday afternoon, causing significant damage.

The fire started around 1 p.m. on Sanborn Street.

reading1 Fire Rips Through Reading Condo Building

Firefighters work to knock down a blaze at a Sanborn Street condo complex in Reading. (WBZ-TV)

Smoke could be seen pouring from the building, and as the afternoon went on flames began shooting through the roof.

No one was injured in the fire, but about 60 people were evacuated from the 41 units.

Several cats and dogs were rescued.

The building was the former high school before it was converted into condos. The fire chief says a lack of sprinklers in the units and hard to get to spaces allowed the fire to spread.

“We searched the building twice. We’re going to continue to search the building,” said Fire Chief Gregory Burns. “We’ve been able to rescue some animals from the building. We’ve done the best we can. Right now there are no reports of any people missing from the building.”

reading2 Fire Rips Through Reading Condo Building

Flames shoot through the roof of a Reading condo complex. (WBZ-TV)

Firefighters remained on scene throughout the night.

“We managed to get out as quick as we could,” said resident Melanie Murphy, who got out safely with her dog. “I went back in my unit, and couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. It was filled with smoke.”

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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