Officials have determined the cause of a 4-alarm blaze that caused millions of dollars in damage Monday morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Wednesday, in a joint statement with Cambridge Fire, Massachusetts Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said the most probable cause of the fire at 6 Hunting St. and 851-855 Cambridge St. was an electrical issue. He said the building, which was originally three buildings that had been turned into one, was a total loss, with damages estimated to be about $5 million.
The City of Cambridge said emergency demolition work would begin on the building around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Fire officials said the fire started at about 5:45 a.m. in the basement. The blaze was contained around 10:30 a.m., but crews remained on the scene for much of the day.
No serious injuries were reported. Due to the water on the ground and cold temperatures, a couple of people fell on ice.
More than a dozen people were displaced. Two restaurants were forced to close.
"We lost our computer. We lost our bed. We lost our couch," said resident John Rollins. "It’s literally just all the normal stuff and at this point, I got to figure out how to get it all back."
"My passport, my ID, my clothes, everything I lost," added resident Amaro Pires. "It's gone, it's gone. Everything is lost."
One man from Philadelphia who had rented an apartment in a building on AirBnB said he was grateful for firefighters for helping him.
"This suitcase was actually left inside, said Kamesh Tumuluri, referencing his suitcase. "The fire department was so helpful that they actually went in and brought the suitcase out for me."
Officials used MBTA buses to keep evacuees warm and then to move them to the nearby Rizzoli Community Center. The Frisoli Youth Center was also being used to house displaced residents.
The American Red Cross said they're helping at least 20 people figure out what to do next.
"It's going to be a weeks-long process. We'll have a Red Cross caseworker following them to make sure that they're getting resettled," said Jeff Hall of the Red Cross.