Fire crews battled a six-alarm blaze in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood at a laundromat featured in the movie "The Town" during sub-freezing temperatures Friday morning.
The fire broke out just before 7 a.m. at 144 Bunker Hill St., a three-story building with a laundry on the first floor and six apartments above. Residents were forced to evacuate in the frigid cold.
“There was a lot of flames coming out,” fire victim Julie Dejesus said. “The building alarm went off and then there was just some smoke in the hallway and we all just kind of quickly got out.”
"Of all the days to happen - it can never be a good one, but today was a challenging one," added Zack Scott, a nearby homeowner. "The firefighters did an amazing job doing as much as they could with the building, but then protecting our building. So we're really thankful for that."
Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn said adjacent buildings sustained damage.
"A very stubborn and tough fire - it got into the loft and traveled the length of the building,” Finn said. “The building’s collapsed up to the top floors. You can see the roof all caved in.”
The fire fight turned Bunker Hill Street into a sheet of ice, firefighters themselves covered in frost. Photos show ice building up on firefighters' jackets.
Finn said the fire reached six alarms because of a combination of the fire and the severe weather.
Heavy winds blew smoke from the fire onto the Tobin Bridge.
Residents in the apartments where the fire started said they’re thankful no one was hurt, but with about a week to go until Christmas it’s a tough time to deal with all of the damage and loss.
“I think we just lost everything, I think,” said one fire victim who did not want to be identified.
Dejesus added, “Everything, but it’s just things so they can be replaced.”
Officials said about 20 residents were displaced by the fire. The American Red Cross and the mayor's office will assist them, according to Boston Fire.
Crews were expected to remain on scene all day as their equipment in frozen in place.
The cause and origin of the fire remains under investigation. Fire officials estimate damage at $2 million.