Six people are displaced this Christmas morning after a five-alarm fire broke out in Boston's North End.
The flames erupted at 4:15 a.m. this morning at an apartment building at Hull Street and Snow Hill Street. The apartment is directly opposite the Copp's Hill Burial Grounds, the North End's historic cemetery that dates back to 1659.
When crews arrived on the scene, the fire was at two alarms and flames were concentrated on the roof. It escalated to five alarms and the fire consumed the building, four floors on the Hull Street side and five floors on the Snow Hill side.
Neighbors like Mark Maher were shocked to see the building covered in flames.
“I looked out the window and the cemetery was lit in orange and when I came out the building was totally engulfed,” Maher said.
Firefighters arrived to find all four floors up in flames. All the residents were not in the building at the time of the blaze.
"We couldn't get into the building because of the sheer volume of the fire," Boston Fire Dept. Public Information Officer Steve MacDonald said.
Due to the intensity of the fire, two neighboring homes were forced to evacuate, holiday presents in tow.
"They were slowly bringing out all their gifts that they had under the tree that hadn't been opened yet," MacDonald said.
Commissioner and Chief of the Fire Department Joe Finn praised his crews and their hard work on Twitter this morning.
"My thanks for the quick containment of the 5 alarm fire this morning in the North End," he wrote. "Once again it was having highly trained boots on the ground - firefighters in sufficient numbers that made the difference. This historic neighborhood with narrow streets always presents challenges but they were met. Thanks to all."
Chief Finn estimates $4 million of damages.
Two firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. There were no civilian injuries reported.