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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Fire in East Boston engulfs three multi-family homes

Dom Ferreira
A building sitting at 185 Maverick Street in East Boston that was involved in the fire. Photo by Dom Ferreira / Photography Editor

Early in the morning of Feb. 28, a fire broke out in East Boston, engulfing three multi-family homes. At around 3:30 a.m., local firefighters responded to a call reporting a fire on Maverick Street. Upon arrival, they discovered heavy flames on all three floors of the building which had spread to the two homes next to the initial call. 

Smoke and flames came through the roof of the building and all parties within the building were told to evacuate. Some residents reported hearing their windows cracking from the heat before fire officials began knocking on their doors. Others were sleeping through the fire until they heard the alarms and smelled the smoke. Firefighters saved one individual on the second floor of one of the burning buildings, however, no one was injured.

The fire caused chaos in the neighborhood as many residents fled their homes fearing that they too would catch fire.

One resident of a house near the fire, Paul Murray, describes the scene and his own panic: “Everybody was just yelling. There was only, like, fire in my windows, so—and the building smelled like smoke—so I thought it was our building, so I ran and grabbed him [his dog], came downstairs and joined everybody else down here.”
The Boston Police Department sent out tweets alerting the community of the severity of the fire at around 4 a.m. Firefighters controlled the fire and were able to put it out by 5 a.m., however they stayed on the scene to continue working on hot spots.

The weather conditions Monday morning proved challenging for the firefighters according to Boston Fire Commissioner John Dempsey. The frigid temperatures caused the water to freeze on impact on the ground creating icy conditions as the firefighters controlled the flames. One fire truck got covered in ice from one of the nearby hoses and was found to be unstable. 

Dempsey further explained any delay in putting out the fire. 
“Clearly you can see the cold and the ice, so very difficult moving around, you have to go a little bit slower,” said Dempsey. “We had one engine freeze up so that limited our water a little bit, but we were able to overcome that.”

On a scale from one to ten, it was a six-alarm fire; the number of firefighters called to the scene corresponds with the amount of alarms. More than 100 firefighters were called to the scene to assist, including those from other cities and departments such as Cambridge and Chelsea. 

The cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation. Officials were still waiting to get into the houses as of the afternoon of Feb. 28.

A total of 25 residents of the apartment buildings were displaced after the fire. One resident was interviewed by WHDH 7 News Boston expressing their grief: “I can’t describe it. I just, just seeing all your things, imagine, watching all the stuff that you own just like burn down, you can’t really put words into it.” 

The Salvation Army also was on the scene to support the victims of the fire. Boston Fire Department officials tweeted that Red Cross were working with the victims to find alternative housing. 

To support those displaced by the fire, there is a GoFundMe entitled: “Help 25 East Boston residents displaced in fire.” Donations are also being accepted at the BCYF Paris Street Community Center at 112 Paris Street, East Boston.

About the Contributors
Sean Liddy, News Writer
Dom Ferreira, Photo Editor