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Community Marks One Year Since Devastating 10-Alarm Blaze

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) -- Sunday marks the first anniversary of a 10-alarm fire on Berkshire Street in Cambridge that destroyed nearly a dozen buildings.

It was an inferno Cambridge resident Lauren Schiffer will never forget.

"We came out of our door and this entire street was a ball of fire. You could feel the heat you could hear it, you could smell it," Schiffer said.

Eleven buildings and several cars were lost.

cambridge fire
The Red Cross had assisted at least 120 people Saturday after a 10-alarm fire tore through homes. (WBZ-TV)

Strong winds made it tough for the 130 firefighters who risked their lives.

"Response time was incredible. They were here within minutes and spent 18 hours fighting the fire to save our houses," Schiffer said.

Foundations of some of the destroyed homes have since been removed. Others remain boarded up and charred.

Neighbor Jimmy Voutiritsa took cell phone video the day the fire broke out.

"There was just a ball of flames across the street," he said, and he is "hoping the community can back to where it was."

cambridge fire
Flames rage at a 10-alarm Cambridge fire. (Image Credit: Peter Osbourne)

Despite how big and destructive the fire was, no one was killed or injured.

"It happened during the day so very fortunate people got out with just smoke inhalation," Voutiritsa said.

Fire officials later determined that a house that was being renovated caught fire after someone threw a cigarette in a dumpster. Residents say they miss their neighbors who have now moved away.

"I'd like to see the homes be rebuilt and people move back in," Schiffer said.

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