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Firefighters battle four-alarm fire in vacant Allston building

Boston firefighters battled a four-alarm fire in Allston Monday during heavy snow conditions, an effort aided by residents who had cleared snow away from hydrants in the neighborhood, the department said.

The fire at 79 Brighton Ave. in a vacant three-story brick apartment building was reported at 6:05 a.m.

Arriving firefighters quickly called in for more help, eventually leading to a four-alarm response, the department said on its official Twitter account.

“There was a raging snowstorm, and the snow was going sideways. Tough conditions for firefighters,” said Steve MacDonald, spokesman for the Fire Department. “There was heavy fire blowing out the side of the building on the second and third floors. The heat was warping the vinyl siding on an adjacent building.”

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He said firefighters assumed the building was occupied because they saw furniture inside but later learned after making searches that no one was inside.

The first floor had boarded-up windows.

Two adjacent buildings at 81 and 83 Brighton Ave. were occupied, but no residents were displaced by the fire.

MacDonald said investigators concluded an electrical short circuit on the second floor caused the blaze, which resulted in $750,000 in damage.

The fire was brought under control after an hour, and no injuries were reported.

MacDonald thanked area residents for shoveling out nearby hydrants.

“A couple of hydrants had been shoveled out, allowing firefighters to make quick hookups. [We] appreciated whoever did the shoveling,” MacDonald said. “It is important to shovel those hydrants out. We need them clear.”


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.