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Firefighter hurt, 9 displaced in E. Boston fire

About 70 firefighters responded to this early-morning blaze at 132 Bennington St.

Melissa Hanson for The Boston Globe

About 70 firefighters responded to this early-morning blaze at 132 Bennington St.

A two-alarm blaze in East Boston Saturday morning sparked by an electrical short circuit displaced at least nine people, injured one firefighter, and caused about $350,000 in damage, fire officials said.

About 70 firefighters responded to the two-story, wood-frame building at 132 Bennington St. around 4:40 a.m., said Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dunbar. By 5 a.m., the street was crowded with firefighters, who were able to extinguish the blaze within about 20 minutes.

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The fire began on the second floor near the front of the building, according to Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald. He said it was contained in the second-floor ceiling.

“The fire was going undetected for a bit,” MacDonald said. “It stayed above the ceiling and burned the underside of the roof and rafters.”

Officials determined the fire was caused by a short circuit in the second-floor ceiling, MacDonald said.

The first floor of the building has a contracting business in front and an apartment in the rear. The second floor is another apartment, said Dunbar.

One firefighter was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with a shoulder injury, Dunbar said.

Firefighters found seven adults and two children under 3 years of age in the building. Five adults were occupying the second-floor apartment, and two adults and the children were living in the first-floor apartment, said MacDonald. None of the occupants was injured.

Firefighters were trying to locate the owner of building, Dunbar said.

Officials feared the fire would spread to neighboring structures. According to Dunbar, that is always a concern with fires in densely populated areas like East Boston.

“The biggest fires in Boston . . . spread from wood frame to wood frame,” he said.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com or on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.
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