Crews Battle Massive 6-Alarm Fire in Reading, Massachusetts | NECN
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Crews Battle Massive 6-Alarm Fire in Reading, Massachusetts

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dozens of people were displaced Thursday after a 6-alarm fire at a condominium complex in Reading, Massachusetts.

    (Published Friday, June 2, 2017)

    A massive, 6-alarm fire tore through an apartment complex Thursday in Reading, Massachusetts, displacing dozens of residents.

    "I'm just feeling it," said 87-year-old resident Mary Connors. "It's just hitting me."

    Connors is one of the dozens of people who escaped from the fire Thursday afternoon. Approximately 60 residents were in their homes at the time.

    "The alarm went off," said resident Melanie Murphy. "I went outside, I look up on the top floor ... it's burning, lots of fire, flames, smoke everywhere."

    The building is decades old and is the former home of Reading High School.

    There are sprinklers in the hallways and stairwells, but not inside the individual units.

    The flames moved quickly, according to fire officials.

    "This building has a number of voids that are interconnected," said Reading Fire Chief Greg Burns. "So fire is spreading through the voids."

    There are 41 condominiums in the complex. Most of the heavy damage is to the third and fourth floors.

    Firefighters were able to rescue about a dozen pets.

    One Reading firefighter was taken to the hospital as a precaution for heat-related issues.

    Residents are now wondering how much they've lost.

    "A lot of my old memories, pictures," Connors said. "Oh my God, pictures of my kids."

    Investigators are still trying to figure out where in the building the fire started, and how it began as well.

    Residents are not allowed back in for the time being.

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