5-alarm five guts Mattapan triple-decker, displaces 20

The scene at the Mattapan triple-decker on Thursday.
John Cetrino for The Boston Globe
The scene at the Mattapan triple-decker on Thursday.

A five-alarm fire engulfed a Mattapan triple decker on Thursday night, injuring five firefighters and displacing 20 people including five children, officials said.

The blaze at 41 Evelyn St. broke out some time before 7:45 p.m., the Boston Fire Department said on Twitter.

John Walsh, the Boston Fire Department chief of operations, told reporters at the scene that three firefighters suffered heat exhaustion and dehydration and one broke a finger as they battled the large blaze on a balmy evening. They were all taken to area hospitals. Details on the fifth injured firefighter were not immediately available.


The 20 residents of the building all got out on their own, according to Walsh.

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“The fire is still under investigation,” Walsh said as firefighters continued searching for hot spots.

He said the house sustained “pretty good damage” and that firefighters had to contend with hazardous electrical lines on the side of the building as they worked furiously to douse the flames and smoke.

Odania Charles, 36, a third-floor resident, said outside the smoldering building that she helped her mother and two young children evacuate when the fire started, stopping only to grab her keys as the family rushed out.

“I was mopping when someone banged on the door telling me to get out of the house,” said Charles. “I didn’t even know the house was on fire. I just feel like I’m dreaming.”


The Fire Department said on Twitter the fifth alarm was called for “rehab purposes. Requesting ladder trucks only.”

Photos posted to the department’s Twitter account showed heavy smoke and flames billowing out of the house.

More than 100 people stood on the front lawns and porches of Evelyn Street and watched firefighters attacked the blaze. Multiple fire hydrants were tapped in an effort to quell the flames. Excess spray leaked from the hydrants and pooled into the street.

All told, about 40 firetrucks had rushed to the scene. Fire officials said damages were initially estimated at $500,000.

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. Jacob Geanous can be reached at