BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Authorities say a massive fire that started at a vacant property on the Dorchester-Mattapan line and spread to nearby homes likely caused millions of dollars in damages.
The Boston Fire Department tweeted that the cause of Saturday evening’s nine-alarm fire is currently unknown. The department said seven firefighters and two civilians were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
The fire started in a vacant building on the Dorchester/Mattapan line and quickly spread to nearby homes, burning a total of eight homes. Wind conditions and the fact that the houses were close together made it tough for firefighters. A roof on at least one of the buildings collapsed.
The fire started at around 4:45 p.m. and the ninth alarm was struck around 45 minutes later. Firefighters remained on scene Sunday morning investigating.
Department Commissioner Joe Finn commended the coordination among emergency services.
Some residents are able to return to their apartments to remove belongings, but others are unable to do so safely. A total of 14 people were displaced.
Neighbor Maria Nguyen said, “I had to grab my daughter because the smoke was so much, I mean it was really black fog around this area. It was just incredible. I saw neighbors running, banging on doors, trying to get people out.
The house where Mike Nguyen lives is destroyed. “They are letting us in for a little bit, see what we can grab, anything that’s salvageable. Anything at all. We’re just looking for our documents, any kind of paperwork that we need.
One impacted resident was a 72-year-old grandmother who was home when the flames broke out. A neighbor said a police officer who lives next door helped that woman escape.
The Red Cross said seven families have been affected by the fires and it is deploying volunteers to help the victims. The Red Cross has set up a shelter at Gallivan Community Center at 61 Woodruff Way in Mattapan to help residents impacted by the fire. For help, call 617-635-5252.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)