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Massive Fire Damages Multiple Buildings In Charlestown

CHARLESTOWN (CBS) -- Multiple residential buildings in Charlestown were damaged in a massive fire.

The 6-alarm fire broke out on Bunker Hill Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday. One building was completely destroyed.

Flames were seen shooting out of the rooftops of 284 and 286 Bunker Hill Avenue.

"We ran out of the building and looked up the street all you could see was intense smoke and lot and lot of ash flying in the air," a witness told WBZ-TV.

Fire officials say no residents are hurt. One firefighter was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion.

"It was a very stubborn fire, the heats been a problem for us, we've been keeping people hydrated while we were working," Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn said in a news conference. "There was a little bit of wind, the fire escalated very rapidly."

"There was a brief period of time where we had two firefighters who were unaccounted for, but we went through our procedure, as far as accounting for them, and they were accounted for within minutes," Finn said.

It is unclear what caused the fire.

Fire crews remained at the scene late Thursday to watch for hot spots.

At least 13 units were ruined with millions of dollars estimated in damage. The cost to residents is hard to quantify.

"We have a strong community," one resident said. "People get together and they help each other out when it's necessary."

Residents are thanking the good Samaritan who alerted them to the fire. The unidentified woman knocked on doors and rang the buzzers at the condo building.

"She was trying to get everybody out," resident Lordes Fernandez said. "We were totally unsuspecting."

"It was coming out the top of both buildings, it was already clearly like very much on fire," said resident Avra Schwartz. "I'm very thankful I wish I knew who she was."

Fire is spreading quickly to adjacent buildings. (WBZ)

Hours later another fire began at nearby Cook Street.

Fire officials say the embers from the original fire caused the blaze. Firefighters noticed the smoke and walkedto Cook Street to put out the fire.

No one was hurt.


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