Several People Displaced After Fire Breaks Out at Multi-Family Home in Somerville

The Walker Street home suffered heavy damage, as did a nearby home and rear garage, Somerville's fire chief said.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Firefighters battled a blaze at a multi-family home in Somerville, Massachusetts, on Saturday afternoon, fire officials said.

The Somerville Fire Department was called to the house on Walker Street around 3:30 p.m. and found heavy fire coming from a second floor rear porch that then spread up to the third floor.

Fire Chief Charles Breen says no injuries were reported, and that all occupants in the home had made it out. There was a report of one cat in the building, but the fire chief believes the cat is safe.

"We're lucky with the time of the day it started, and nobody was asleep in the house and whatnot," Breen said. "Had this been at night, we could have had serious problems, but fortunately, at the time it happened, everybody was able to get out."

The home suffered heavy fire damage on the upper floors and heavy water damage on the lower floor. The fire chief said two other nearby buildings were also damaged.

"In Somerville, we're a very dense city, we had not only this house, we had damage to the house next door, we also had the garage in the rear that was on fire as well, so companies arriving they had their hands full trying to get this fire knocked down," he said. "They did a great job. The guys were very aggressive, got ahead of it, and we were able to keep most of the damage to this one house."

The chief said the fire was difficult in the aspect that it required a lot of manpower because the flames got up into the third floor and the attic space. The chief added that it was labor intensive, and it took crews a good hour to get the fire under control.

Video from the scene showed intense flames shooting from the upper floors, engulfing the outdoor porch.

Michael Phillips, who lives inside the home with his girlfriend and daughter, told NBC10 Boston that he had been gone for about an hour in Stoughton when he received a call from his land lady that there was a fire in the house.

"Come home, we saw the house still being worked on, in flames, my ex wife showed me pictures of the back of the house, just completely engulfed in flames," Phillips said. "We've just been here for the past two hours just kind of watching the fire crews hack the place up."

Phillips got emotional as he was saying how extremely thankful he is that he and his daughter were not home at the time of the fire.

"She's freaked out. I'm freaked out. My whole livelihood is in that apartment," shared Phillips, who has lived there for the past two years. "I'm glad she's safe, I'm glad everybody got out."

Phillips says there are five tenants in the home, including himself, his girlfriend, his daughter, the landlord and one other person. He says the whole experience is shocking, including seeing the home "completely smoldered."

"I never would have thought, you don't expect to be the dude on the news, you know? You're watching other people about this, it's shocking as all hell," he said.

Phillips acknowledged the houses in the area are all really close together and he said he's just happy the fire was contained to one place so that it's not anyone else's problem.

"This is the best outcome at least for that," he said. "All the neighbors here are awesome, so to have this be more of a thing than it was, is perfect the way that it turned out I guess."

He added that he doesn't think the home is salvageable, saying, "we're gonna need some help."

Phillips has no idea how the fire started. The fire chief says it's too early to make a determination on the cause of the fire, and though it does not appear suspicious at this time, it will be investigated.

Contact Us