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60 escape as fire hits complex in Dorchester

Firefighters extinguished a fire that began in the basement of a Monadnock Street building in Dorchester on Friday.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Firefighters extinguished a fire that began in the basement of a Monadnock Street building in Dorchester on Friday.

More than 60 people fled to a temporary shelter after a three-alarm fire ripped through their apartment building at 3 Monadnock St. in Dorchester Friday, officials said.

The fire started in the trash compactor shortly after 10:30 a.m. in the basement of the seven-­story building. The flames then spread into the trash chute and chewed into the walls of some units on the upper floors, said Lieutenant Mike Walsh, a Fire Department spokesma. The blaze was brought under control about noon.

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One resident was taken to a Boston hospital for a medical ­issue unrelated the fire, Walsh said. No firefighters were ­injured in the blaze, which ­remains under investigation. A ladder truck was needed to reach upper floors.

Displaced residents have been given shelter at a ­Salvation Army facility while the city’s Inspectional Services Department determines whether the building can reopen. The American Red Cross was sending volunteers to assist them.

Keisha Safford was making a tuna sandwich in her first-floor apartment when she smelled smoke.

The alarms in the building go off so often, she said, that at first she was not sure there really was a fire.

“I checked my stove and every­thing,” she said, standing in the Salvation Army down the street. “I said, ‘No, it’s not me.’ Then the alarm went off.”

Safford said she has two cats, Foxcee and Precious. Firefighters told her that her apartment suffered only water damage. She had not yet seen her cats.

Safford said she was not sure where she would stay for the next few days.

Evan Allen can be reached at John R. Ellement can be reached
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