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    ‘The whole roof was on fire’: Neighbor shocked by Weymouth inferno

    Flames engulfed an apartment building under construction in Weymouth.
    Flames engulfed an apartment building under construction in Weymouth.

    WEYMOUTH — John O’Brien stood on his balcony here Thursday shocked by the “inferno” burning a short distance away in a condo building on the verge of completion in the Woodstone Crossing development where he lives.

    “It was very frightening,” O’Brien said in an telephone interview hours after the four-alarm fire was brought under control by Weymouth firefighters. “The whole roof was on fire. It was pretty intense.”

    The fire destroyed a four-story, 50-unit condo building under construction by Pulte Homes, causing an estimated $20 million to $30 million in damage. The cause of the fire at 110 Trotter Road is under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office, officials said.


    Weymouth Fire Chief Keith Stark said the first call came in at 2:58 a.m. Thursday.

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    According to Pulte, 42 of the 50 units have been sold, and the company is now in the process of notifying those people about the destruction of what would have been their new homes. O’Brien lives in the first of four condo buildings planned for the site; the fire destroyed the second, and a third is partially completed.

    Deb Karchenes lives in a third floor unit in 130 Trotter Road, the same building as O’Brien. She said she got up around 3 a.m. Thursday to walk her dog when she saw a neighbor knocking on another neighbor’s door.

    At first, she thought the fire was in their building. Then she walked outside.

    “I saw the flames,’’ she said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”


    Karchenes has lived there since November 2016 and has spent the time since watching the building at 110 Trotter grow from a hole in the ground to a four-story building with a finished exterior — until Thursday morning.

    “I walk past there every day, seeing it get built,” she said.

    She wondered aloud: What would happen to people who already sold their homes and planned to move in soon?

    “Everyone feels lousy . . . those poor people,’’ she said of those who had agreed to purchase units at 110 Trotter Road.

    O’Brien moved into his unit last December. He said he was relieved that no one was hurt and commended the firefighters for keeping the blaze under control.


    “I was very impressed,” he said. “They did an amazing job.”

    He also feels for his future neighbors who were supposed to move in soon.

    “To see a beautiful building so close to being finished . . . it’s really a shame.”

    Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.