Firefighters responded overnight to a 3-alarm fire in Newton, Massachusetts.
A passer-by saw the flames in the upper part of the building and called the fire department to report the flames at 46 Cook St. around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.
When fire crews responded to the two-family home, the man who owns the building was coming out of one of the units. Firefighters rescued a cat.
The second unit was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
Fire Chief Bruce Proia says the second-floor ceiling collapsed on firefighters when they went inside the house. Everyone was able to get out safely.
"They started an aggressive interior attack, made their way to the second-floor bedroom. The ceiling above them collapsed down, rained down fire around them. The fire got too heavy up in the attic area. They had to back out," Proia said. "They were okay. It did come right down on top of them. They were using caution. They were in there and were able to get away and back out."
The fire also forced nearby residents out of their homes.
"It’s pretty frightening when they asked us to evacuate because the fire was close," said neighbor Rob Gilpin. "It's a pretty serious good morning alarm."
Crews also battled challenging conditions, including frozen hydrants and ice hazards.
Chief Proia says it makes it that much more difficult but they are doing OK.
The fire was put out as of 5 a.m. but crews are expected to remain on scene throughout the morning, checking hot spots.
"They did a great job. They kept it safe put the fire out really quickly," said neighbor Jo Gray. "We're happy with the job they did."
People were asked to avoid the area as Watertown Street was shut down at Cook Street in both directions. Green Street was shut down between Pearl and Chapel streets. Supply lines were played across the road in both directions and fire officials warned people to not drive over any of the lines.
The cause of the fire has not been determined and is under investigation.