Boston firefighters battled a seven-alarm blaze early Monday morning in an unoccupied home on Warren Street in Roxbury that caused $1 million in damage and left two firefighters hurt.
Firefighters responded at 4:15 a.m. to the three-story woodframe duplex at 124-126 Warren St. at the Winthrop Street intersection. When they arrived, they found heavy flames in the building, which was in the early stages of renovation. The building eventually collapsed, said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.
“This was just a huge volume of fire, right off the bat,” said MacDonald. Firefighters were unable to enter the building and battled the flames from outside.
The intensity of the blaze led to a seven-alarm response, which brought 140 Boston firefighters to the scene, more than half of those on duty at any given time, he said.
The heavy fire was knocked down after about an hour. During the morning, firefighters were still pouring water on the rubble because of concerns that fire might be smoldering underneath it.
One firefighter injured his shoulder, another his back, fire officials said.
The Red Cross said volunteers assisted 8 adults and three children who were displaced from the building next door to the fire.
MacDonald said some of the “tremendous amounts” of water firefighters were pouring on the burning building had broken through the windows into the neighboring building and gotten into the electrical fixtures, causing safety concerns.
Telma Silva, who lives in a second floor apartment beside the vacant building, said she awoke to the smell of smoke, and leapt out of bed to wake up her two roommates. She threw on a jacket and boots and went outside into the cold, where fire had already engulfed the building. “It was really bad,” she said. “The fire was very strong.”
“Flames kept moving over little by little” she said. “I kept hoping they could push it back.” Silva said the Red Cross has put her and her neighbors up in a hotel and she doesn’t know when she can return. She said her apartment sustained water damage but was relatively unscathed. Silva, 24, said she had to miss her waitressing shift Monday and hopes things will return to normal. “I just hope I can get back home soon,” she said.
The MBTA brought in buses for firefighters at the scene to stay out of the cold. Streets in the area were closed.
Fire investigators were on the scene. But “it’s too early in the investigation to come up with the cause,” said MacDonald.