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Trapped firefighters call mayday during Mass. 5-alarm blaze

Two firefighters were trapped on the second floor of one of the buildings in the Chelsea blaze

By Chris Van Buskirk, Flint McColgan
Boston Herald

CHELSEA, Mass. — Firefighters from multiple departments battled a five-alarm fire early Friday afternoon that affected multiple buildings.

“The fire was extinguished thanks to the rapid response of the Chelsea E911 Dispatcher, the Chelsea Fire Department, the Chelsea Police Department, and the support of several Fire Department crews from neighboring communities,” the Chelsea Fire Department wrote in a statement following the incident.

The Cambridge Fire Department said its crews were heading to the scene of a five-alarm fire, according to a statement on social media posted just before 12:30 p.m.

“Fortunately, no one was injured during the emergency, and residents were seen by a medical crew of the American Red Cross at La Colaborativa’s Survival Center, where families are also receiving wrap-around services from La Colaborativa’s team,” the Chelsea Fire statement continued. “All affected families will be placed in hotel rooms until permanent housing is identified.”

The fire displaced more than 30 people, Chelsea Fire Department Capt. Phil Rogers told the Herald Friday evening, though he said he wasn’t sure of the exact number since he wasn’t on duty at the time. At one point, two firefighters became trapped on the second floor of one of the buildings affected by the fire and had to call for help, a situation called calling a “mayday.”

A ground ladder was elevated to that window and the trapped firefighters were able to escape, Rogers said.

“They were fine, the mayday was cleared and they’re back on duty tonight,” he added.

Video from WCVB’s helicopter showed large plums of smoke rising from multiple homes in Chelsea. Flames were visible from the roof of a home on Maverick Street.

The street features densely packed multi-family homes on both sides, according to images of the road.

Details on the cause of the fire or the extent of the damage were not immediately available.

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