Fire rips through dense Boston neighborhood; 1 firefighter injured

A six-alarm fire ripped through two homes in the dense neighborhood of East Boston Wednesday morning, injuring one firefighter and causing more than $1 million in estimated damage.

The fire was reported shortly after 8:30 a.m. local time, and by the time firefighters arrived the backs of two homes were engulfed in flames, said Steve MacDonald, spokesman for the Boston Fire Department.


"There was heavy fire showing immediately. It went rapidly up to six alarms," MacDonald said.

There were initial concerns that some residents may have been trapped in one of the homes, MacDonald said, but everyone was later accounted for.

Access was difficult, he added, because of the narrow streets and the location of the homes.

"It's a very congested neighborhood, both houses sit behind other houses on the street, there's difficult access and there's a lot of people," MacDonald said.

Firefighters were forced to extend large lengths of hose through the neighborhood, fighting the fire from the roofs of nearby houses and cutting power lines to get better access.

It took about 160 firefighters more than an hour to get the flames under control. One firefighter was taken to the hospital with a minor leg injury. No other injuries were reported.

Boston Fire Chief Joseph E. Finn, who was sworn in as the city's fire commissioner on Monday, revised damage estimates upward to $1.2 million.

MacDonald said the investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, but that authorities suspect it started on the first floor of one of the buildings and was electrical in nature.

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