Investigation Into Cause of Waltham Blaze - NBC10 Boston

Investigation Into Cause of Waltham Blaze

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    Fire in Waltham

    A construction site in Waltham caught fire Sunday. 200 people were evacuated from the area.

    (Published Sunday, July 23, 2017)

    Fire officials are investigating the cause of a massive blaze that tore through an apartment complex under construction on Sunday in Waltham, Massachusetts.

    The fire broke out just before 4 a.m. at the complex on Cooper Street and quickly reached 10-alarms.

    Waltham Fire Chief Paul Ciccone says the fire went from two buildings to five buildings within minutes. Each structure collapsed.

    "It spread very quickly," Ciccone said.

    The site is where general contractor, Callahan Construction, was slated to finish more than 200 luxury apartments by the end of the year.

    Massive Fire Engulfs Waltham Construction SiteMassive Fire Engulfs Waltham Construction Site

    In a statement to the press, Lilsa Nickerson, spokesperson for Callahan Construction, said that the property had previously undergone a joint inspection.

    "The property underwent a joint inspection last week with with the Waltham Fire department and City of Waltham, and passed inspection under the city's effort to review all large projects currently under construction in Waltham to ensure accordance with state building code," said Nickerson.

    "We thank local authorities for their immediate response in this incident and are cooperating with authorities to determine the cause," the statement continued.

    Nearby homes, including about 150 people at the Arthur Clark Apartments, an elderly housing complex, were evacuated due to the amount of smoke.

    "We evacuated the elderly housing at 48 Pine St. and I believe they evacuated 190 Moody St. which is a larger elderly complex," said Ciccone.

    The power to the neighborhood was also cut as a safety precaution.

    "There was ash raining down on our house and they were spraying down our house with water to make sure it didn't catch on fire. Then they said, 'you want to leave, leave now,'" said one resident, who was evacuated.

    It's unclear when residents will be able to return to their homes.

    In addition to the damage at the construction site, authorities said at least 30 vehicles at nearby E & T Auto Body on Elm Street were destroyed.

    Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

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