A woman was injured in a raging inferno at a large multi-unit apartment complex Monday afternoon in Lynn, Massachusetts.
The fire broke out at 26 Broad St. shortly before 4 p.m. It went to four alarms.
The Lynn fire chief said all 28 residents of the building were able to get out, most on their own. However, one woman was injured and was taken to a local hospital. Her current condition is not known.
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Aerial footage from NBC Boston's Sky Ranger helicopter showed firefighters on the roof as heavy black smoke poured from windows and vents. The Lynn fire chief described the moment as intense and said crews pulled back just as flames erupted from the roof of the building.
Firefighters began attacking the fire solely from the exterior of the building.
As of 7 p.m., the roof of the building appeared to have completely collapsed, and chunks of the walls could be seen falling from the building as firefighters continued to douse the structure with water.
Neighbors who live in the area said the fire appeared to be just a little smoke until it rapidly grew, engulfing the building.
"The smoke's crazy. You can smell it in my house and everything," said one neighbor who was down at the scene. "It smells really, really bad."
"Everything just happened so fast," said one resident of the building. "And by the time I got outside that whole side was just black smoke."
Some of the neighbors say they helped clear hydrants, but fighting the flames took hours, and water pressure became a concern for firefighters.
Temperatures are right around freezing, and the strong, 20 to 30 mph winds are making it difficult for firefighters to extinguish the blaze. Light snow is now falling as well.
The Lynn Item reports that firefighters from at least a half-dozen communities responded to the scene. The Red Cross said it also has a disaster action team headed to the scene.
The 18-unit wood-frame building was built in 1860, according to town records.
Officials have blocked off several streets in the area, and drivers are urged to avoid the area if possible.
The mayor says the city's focus is now shifting to helping the dozens left homeless.