Twenty residents were left homeless Tuesday after a three-alarm fire tore through a duplex in Chelsea, fire officials said.
Eight families live in the building, said Robert Houghton, acting fire chief. At least 12 people were inside when the fire broke out, he said.
Thick smoke spread from the back porch to the second floor, Houghton said. Both sides of the duplex sustained heavy damage, and most of the building is uninhabitable, he said.
The fire broke out just after 4:30 p.m. Firefighters knocked down the heaviest flames within 20 minutes, but did not completely extinguish it until three hours later.
No serious injuries were reported, Houghton said.
The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause.Mina Corpuz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz.