Three homes were damaged Wednesday evening and 21 people were displaced after a fire broke out at a triple-decker in Boston's Roslindale neighborhood.
Firefighters responded to 3940 Washington St. at 6:50 p.m. where the blaze quickly reached 3-alarms.
Authorities said the fire started on the first floor of the multi-family home and then extended to two nearby homes.
"Once the fire gets going, it's called auto exposure. It can jump on the outside of the building and go right in to the 2nd and 3rd floors which is what happened," said one fire official.
Jacob Tucke had been outside working on his car when the fire started and rushed over to help before crews arrived.
"I ran over. The fire was still kind of 10 feet high," Tucke recalled. "We started banging on the door, hopefully getting people out."
Firefighters were initially told that people were trapped inside the home but that turned out to not be the case.
In all, 21 people escaped safely. The American Red Cross is assisting them with a place to stay.
No injuries were reported.
The exact cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire officials said damages to the three homes are estimated to cost about $500,000.