WORCESTER (CBS) — A large fired ripped through in a multi-story building in Worcester Thursday morning.

The fire broke out around 10 a.m. Firefighters largely knocked down the flames by around 11 a.m.

A fire on Water Street in Worcester Thursday morning. (Photo Credit: WBZ-TV)

The Water Street building’s bottom floor houses a plumbing company called K&N Plumbing and Supply. Several people were displaced by the fire.

Mark Ruffo, who owns the building and works on the first floor, said the flames started in the back and quickly spread.

“The wind picked up shot it up into the roof, and it took off. In seconds it took off,” Ruffo said.

Ruffo said he believes it was an electrical fire, but the incident is still under investigation.

Firefighters rescued a dog from inside the building. It’s owner was not home at the time of the fire and returned to find it in flames.

“The firefighters went in and they kept searching,” said resident Luz Perez. “I’m not sure if my landlord told them I have a dog, because my landlord knew there was nobody home, but I think they knew that the dog was upstairs. I think that’s how the firefighters knew when they broke through the door and they looked for her and they were able to get her out, thank god.”

Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie said that the weather made controlling the flames difficult.

“Anytime it’s windy like this, if the fire breaks out to the exterior of the building, then basically all bets are off,” he said.

Lavoie said when firefighters arrived, they went up to the third floor and found most of the fire in the attic area. At first, he said, firefighters seemed to be controlling the fire, but then parts of the building started collapsing, so the firefighters were told to leave the building.

“Structurally the building is unstable and we’re going to have demolition crews come in now and start to take it down,” he said. “We’ll put the fire out as we go along.”

A demolition crew was seen taking down the top floor of the building around 1:30 p.m.


The storefront of K&N Plumbing and Supply Thursday morning after its building caught fire. (Photo Credit: WBZ-TV)

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said the Interstate 290 westbound off ramp at Exit 13 was closed due to the fire.

No information on the cause of the fire, any injuries or the extent of the fire has been released.