US: Boston neighborhood evacuated as fire rages for hours - PressFrom - US

USBoston neighborhood evacuated as fire rages for hours

04:55  16 march  2019
04:55  16 march  2019 Source:

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Boston firefighters have ordered evacuations as they work to extinguish an inferno burning in East Boston.

The fire at the New England Casket Company, on Bennington Street, was first reported around 3 p.m. Fire officials believe it started near a furnace used to dry wood for the business.

Orange flames were still shooting from the building hours later and firefighters struck nine alarms to call for additional help.

"There was a sprinkler system, but the fire was above the sprinkler system," Boston Fire Department Commissioner Joseph Finn said. "Our initial problems and why we are still here is the water supply, and this is because it just happens to be the end of the water supply for East Boston."

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Boston Fire Dept.Verified account. Boston Fire Dept.‏Verified account @BostonFire 15h15 hours ago. All residents safely evacuated from the building, major overhauling fire was contained to the third floor report of 1 Firefighter and 1 resident

"This is the biggest fire, for me, that I've seen as the mayor of this city," said Mayor Marty Walsh. "I'm just grateful that no one's hurt."

Flying overhead, Sky5 could see that much of the roof had caved in.

"The fire is still ongoing. Our concern now is that there's a bunch of chemicals in the building that are used as lacquers, thinners and things like that," Finn said.

Finn said the Orient Heights neighborhood was evacuated "out of an abundance of caution." Residents were originally taken to the Curtis Guild School and then moved to the Parish Street Community Center.

Firefighters are also monitoring air quality in the area, Finn said.

The burning building is located adjacent to MBTA tracks, and Blue Line service between Orient Heights and Wonderland stations is suspended because of the fire. Shuttle buses will replace trains in both directions, the T said. However, those buses cannot access Suffolk Downs because of road closures in the area.

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Boston neighborhood evacuated as fire rages for hours© Boston Fire Dept. New England Casket Company fire

Finn said one police officer was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. The officer had been working in the neighborhood to facilitate evacuations.

Later, Boston EMS reported two others were taken to the hospital for treatment.

All of the employees who were working inside the casket factory evacuated safely, he said. The building is a total loss.

WCVB will update this report as additional information becomes available.

READ MORE:Boston neighborhood evacuated as fire rages for hours

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