3 Boston FFs hurt battling 7-alarm blaze

The fast-moving blaze burned through five three-story homes, displacing 48 people

Sean Philip Cotter
Boston Herald

BOSTON — A fast-moving seven-alarm fire tore through five triple-deckers in Dorchester, displacing four dozen people and requiring the efforts of 150 firefighters to knock down.

Boston Fire crews responded to Fayston Street around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday for reports of a fire on the hottest day of the year so far.

The department quickly jumped up to three alarms, then four and five before eventually reaching seven as more and more jakes were required to battle the blaze.

Four people — three firefighters and one resident — had to go to local hospitals, but none had major injures, BFD spokesman Brian Alkins said later.

The blaze ripped through the five three-deckers, leaving 32 adults and 16 kids on the street. The initial scanner chatter indicated fears that children were inside one of the buildings, but Alkins said everyone had made their way out by the time firefighters showed up.

The Red Cross, Boston trauma services and the Salvation Army all worked with displaced residents as the day wore on.

One resident of 84 Fayston, the most damaged building, said he heard somebody yelling "fire, fire, fire," and he looked out the back and saw flames climbing the side of the building.

The man told the Herald, "Everything I had was in there. I have nowhere to go."

Another man who lives in the same building said he'd scooped as much as he could from his closet into a bear hug and run out with it.

The first man shook his head and said, "I just saw the flames coming up the back, and I didn't have time for anything."

Several of the buildings sustained serious damage. Alkins said the cause and manner of the fire remain under investigation. The flames burned so hot and fast it's not immediately clear where the fire started.

"The closeness of the buildings — it just took off," Alkins said.

He said the heat of the day, which eventually would hit 90 degrees, added to the difficulty of fighting the fire. Crews continuously rushed canisters of air to exhausted jakes, and firefighters just out of the smoke knelt on the ground with moist washcloths on their foreheads, cooling off.

Crews continued to work on it hours later even after the fire was knocked down, making sure none of the hot spots flared back up.


(c)2021 the Boston Herald


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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