DORCHESTER (CBS) – An early morning fire forced 11 people out of their apartments in Dorchester on New Year’s Day.

Flames broke out in the back of a triple-decker on Ridgewood Street around 1 a.m. and quickly spread to all three floors.

Everyone escaped safely, but it was a difficult way to start 2019 for Darrol Johnson, who has lived in the building his entire life.

“I got a call that my house was on fire,” he told WBZ-TV. “My father passed away when I was in middle school so this is basically all that we have, so hopefully we get through this.”

Johnson was later allowed back into the house to get his father’s pictures.

Neighbors coming home from New Year’s Eve celebrations helped some of the residents.

“That’s a three-family house,” said neighbor Michael Whalen, who then turned towards his car. ”And this is a Ford Focus, and these people are taking what little is left from their house and loading it into my tiny, little car. It’s the least we can do.”

There’s no word yet on what caused the fire.

The fire broke out in the back of this triple-decker on Ridgewood Street. (WBZ-TV)

“The buildings are close, and again, we had trouble at the end of each street with cars being parked on the corner. Trucks, they have a tough time backing in and out trying not to do any damage but when they get down here, a little delay today, but not too bad.” Boston Fire Chief Jeff Whitman told reporters.

Damage from the fire is estimated at $400,000.

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