Woman burned in two-alarm fire in Charlestown apartment complex

A woman was burned and a firefighter sustained minor facial cuts during a two-alarm fire Wednesday afternoon at a large apartment complex in Charlestown that caused $75,000 in damage.

“They’re in there trying to piece together where it started and how it started,” said Steve MacDonald, spokesman for the Boston Fire Department.

MacDonald was not sure of the injured woman’s condition or her age. He said the two-alarm fire started at 12:54 p.m. in the rear of her street-level apartment at 7 Phipps St. Flames shot from the back of the unit.


A bedroom and living room are located in the rear of the apartment. The three-story garden-style complex is home to numerous families.

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“I always hear the smoke alarms go off here, but no fires,” said Nicole Fitzsimmons, 34, a lifelong resident of the complex. She had been away from the building since morning and discovered when she returned home that there had been a fire there.

“A lot of the lower units are for the handicapped or elderly. This kind of makes me scared because I have a 5-month old daughter and my son has asthma.”

Firefighters stacked charred debris just outside the front door of the unit where the fire broke out. A long trail of black soot traced the path of the fire as it extended out the front door, leaving the siding above the door blackened.

There were only a couple of displaced residents, living in a unit directly above the one where the fire started. As officials investigated Apt. 7, several residents stood behind police tape and discussed the fire. “Thankfully it was not worse,” Fitzsimmons said.

Brian Ballou can be reached at