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Needham fire destroys home, spreads into area bog

Needham firefighters responded late Saturday afternoon to the fire at 94 Brookside Road.
Needham firefighters responded late Saturday afternoon to the fire at 94 Brookside Road.Maddie Kilgannon for The Boston Globe

NEEDHAM — A five-alarm fire destroyed a wood frame home here Saturday afternoon and quickly spread to brush and boggy wetlands behind the property, officials said.

Flames raged through the bog area behind the two-and-a-half story home at 94 Brookside Road until early evening. Crews stretched lines along the path to protect other homes in the area from the fast-moving fire.

Fire Chief Dennis Condon said crews were able to contain the fire in the bog and prevent it from spreading to other homes. As of 7 p.m., the fire was out, though one crew will remain at the home Saturday evening, he said.

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Early Saturday evening, light smoke was still visible from the charred roof, which collapsed.

The fire is believed to have started in the rear of the house, where arriving crews found “a lot of junk and trash on fire up against the house,” Condon said at the scene. “The house burst into fire.”

“The fire . . . extended into the brush down by the Wellesley Water Works — there’s a bog down there,” he added.

No one was home at the time of the fire, which broke out shortly before 3:30 p.m. One firefighter suffered a minor eye injury. He returned to the fire shortly after, the chief said.

About a dozen fire departments, including Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Dedham, and Newton provided mutual aid to Needham firefighters.

The house is believed to be a total loss, Condon said.

The single-family home sits on nearly 1 acre of land, and the total property is valued at $648,800, according to Needham property records.

Some neighbors reported hearing explosions coming from the fire. The sound likely came from some aerosol cans or propane tanks inside the home, Condon said.

Faith Pongor, whose home abuts the bog, watched from a neighbor’s house as the firefighters doused water on the roof.

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“They really had to work on it for quite a while,” she said. “I think it’s a precarious thing — the fire could spread under the brush.”

Other neighbors watched as thick black smoke rose into the sunny sky.

“There was a lot of smoke billowing up over my neighbor’s house,” said Karen Resnic, who lives on Clark Circle about a block away from the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Maddie Kilgannon can be reached at maddie.kilgannon@globe.com. Elise Takahama can be reached at elise.takahama@globe.com