Metro

Facebook turns on its ‘Safety Check’ feature for Cambridge fire

Firefighters battled a 10-alarm fire at Berkshire and York streets in Cambridge.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Firefighters battled a 10-alarm fire at Berkshire and York streets in Cambridge.

Facebook initiated its “Safety Check” feature for Saturday’s 10-alarm fire in Cambridge that engulfed several buildings and left at least 60 residents displaced.

The social media network’s safety feature allows users to notify their Facebook friends that they are safe.

The network usually deploys the feature in times of crisis or disaster. It’s been used for natural disasters, as well as mass shootings in Paris, Orlando, and Dallas.

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In September, Facebook came under fire for turning on the feature during a North Carolina protest.

A screenshot of Facebook’s safety check feature, which the network deployed for Saturday’s Cambridge fire.
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Firefighters from nearly 20 communities responded to the massive blaze on Saturday. The fire injured three to four people, spread to at least 11 buildings, and consumed several vehicles.

Power was cut to the East Cambridge neighborhood affected. The area, which is located between Inman and Kendall squares, could remain powerless for a good chunk of the night, according to one fire official.