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Search for cause of 9-alarm fire in Allston underway

Firefighters cleaned up after a nine-alarm blaze in Allston.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Firefighters cleaned up after a nine-alarm blaze in Allston.

Fire investigators will sift through the rubble of Wednesday night’s nine-alarm fire in Allston later today, searching for the cause of the massive blaze that injured five firefighters and two bystanders and displaced 54 people.

The fire at 12 Harvard Terrace was reported around 5:47 p.m. Wednesday and burned for hours. Residents returned to the building this morning to retrieve their belongings.

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Three firefighters were treated at the scene, while two were treated and released at local hospitals. Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said several more firefighters went to the hospital this morning.

“It’s not that uncommon, you know, once they get back to the firehouse, they might have hurt a shoulder or something but kept working,” he said.

The fire, which MacDonald said may have started on the first-floor back porch, quickly spread, eventually collapsing the roof and weakening a front wall.

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MacDonald said firefighters faced heavy smoke. The close proximity of neighboring buildings and weakened water pressure due to the number of hoses being used also made battling the blaze more difficult.

Many of the residents were immigrants who were forced to leave passports and visas behind, MacDonald said, which will make travel and day-to-day responsibilities difficult for them.

Several residents repeatedly said, “I lost everything.”

Firefighters and police remained at the scene overnight to ensure the fire didn’t rekindle and to keep physical control of the building, preventing any trespassers from entering, MacDonald said.

Kiera Blessing can be reached at
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