Dozens Displaced, Firefighter Hurt When Fire Tears Through 3 Cambridge Buildings - NECN
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Dozens Displaced, Firefighter Hurt When Fire Tears Through 3 Cambridge Buildings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Firefighter Hurt, Dozens Displaced After Fire

    Dozens of residents were displaced early Thursday morning when a fire swept through three apartment buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017)

    Dozens of residents were displaced and a firefighter was injured early Thursday morning when a fire swept through three apartment buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

    Crews first responded to the blaze reported at 171 Auburn St. at 1 a.m., where the fire quickly reached 4-alarms. 

    One resident, Andrew Colello, said he woke up to the sounds of popping and crackling. "Next thing I knew, firemen were banging down my door and getting all my roommates out of there," Colello recalled. 

    Once he and his roommates were safe, they took cellphone video of the intense flames. 

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    "Most of all we were worried, hoping everyone was OK. We didn't really think about the damage. We just saw the giant fire ball," Colello said. 

    One resident, Andrew Colello, said he woke up to the sounds of popping and crackling. 

    "Next thing I knew, firemen were banging down my door and getting all my roommates out of there," Colello recalled. 

    Once he and his roommates were safe, they took cellphone video of the intense flames. 

    "Most of all we were worried, hoping everyone was OK. We didn't really think about the damage. We just saw the giant fireball," Colello said. 

    The fire then jumped from his roof on Auburn Street and spread to two other buildings. 

    "I don't know what's going to happen. I have a lot of valuables in there," said fire victim Emily, who returned later to check out her apartment on nearby Magazine Street. "I was here last night before it happened and everything was fine." 

    All three buildings, which are multi-family apartments, were damaged. 

    Fire officials said despite having to navigate the fire trucks down the narrow road, all 60 residents were safely evacuated and the fire was quickly contained. 

    "It's a densely built-up neighborhood. Buildings are close together," said Cambridge Acting Fire Chief Gerard Mahoney. "We are very fortunate, you know, nighttime fires are very difficult and the weather cooperated." 

    One firefighter was taken to an area hospital with a shoulder injury. He is expected to be OK. 

    Mahoney said a total of five families were displaced by the fire. Two family cats remain missing. 

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    "We do have a collection center and they are working with the Red Cross to help them find housing," Mahoney said. 

    The fire, which remains under investigation, is believed to have started on a back porch on Magazine Street. 

    "Can't overstate the importance of sprinklers in buildings," said Mahoney.

    Crews remained at the scene throughout the morning commute, which impacted traffic in the areas of Auburn, Magazine, and Franklin streets. MBTA bus routes were also impacted. 

    The fire happened a few days prior to the one-year anniversary of the 10-alarm blaze on Berkshire and Vandine streets, which burned at least eight buildings and damaged up to 11 in total, plus several cars parked along the street.

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