A lightning strike is believed to be the cause of a 3-alarm fire at a housing authority building Thursday morning in Massachusetts, according to the Stoughton Fire Department.
The blaze was reported at the Stoughton Housing Authority on Capen Street. Footage of the scene showed several firefighters responding to smoke coming from a brick building.
Firefighters think the fire started when lightning hit the top of the building late Wednesday night.
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"The fire started in the cupola above so it didn't set off any fire alarms so no one in the building actually knew anything was going on," said Stoughton Fire Chief Mike Laracy.
About 60 elderly residents on four floors had to be evacuated in wake of the blaze.
"I look out the window and didn't see nothing. Didn't think nothing of it, there it is three hours later smoldering," said resident William Hogan.
The fire was contained to the cupola but there is water damage to about 10 of the 68 apartments, according to the fire chief. Tenants who have been displaced are now worried about their belongings.
"My computer, my TV, my clothes... everything I own is in there," said resident Janet Sesnovich.
Laracy said thankfully no injuries were reported.
"Showing up to a place like this... life safety is obviously our number one concern, fire is second," said Laracy.
Town officials set up the displaced residents in the senior center and provided them with meals and their medications. Short and long-term housing arrangements have been made at local hotels.
"Everyone will have a roof over their head tonight and a safe, clean place to stay," said town manager Robin Grimm.
It's still unclear when residents can return to their apartments. In the meantime, the fire chief says it may be time to consider putting a fire alarm in the cupola.
"We've been working with the state and housing authority and recently they approved a brand new sprinkler system for this building because at the time it was built in the early 70s, it wasn't required," said Laracy.