Firefighters spent much of the day Friday battling a 4-alarm blaze that erupted in a historic, multi-million dollar home in Concord, Massachusetts.
The flames, which could be seen engulfing the building, brought down the roof of the mansion on Fairhaven Hill Road while crews struggled to get water to the structure.
"They're using porta tanks to keep the water supply going, but there are a lot of challenges," Concord Fire Chief Thomas Judge said.
The 120-year-old building was built by a descendant of presidents John and John Quincy Adams who called it "Mt. Vernon," according to a document created by the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
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The fire was reported at 9:37 a.m. from a caretaker at the mansion, officials said.
When firefighters arrived, smoke was pouring out of the first and second floors and the eaves.
The neighborhood is remote with no town hydrants and only private fire hydrants nearby. Because the water pipes are so narrow, officials say they can't produce enough water fast enough to help with a massive fire.
It's a concern some neighbors say they've had for years.
"They actually put a big cistern in probably about 5-7 years ago, holding I think 300,000 gallons, but obviously they went through it pretty quickly and I think they've just been bringing water up from the bottom of the hill. That's where the water starts from the town," neighbor Rodd Malitsky said.
Malitsky, who lives next door, said the homeowners were out of town when the fire broke out.
"They've been here forever," Malitsky said.
Another family friend said the homeowners had hosted their annual Christmas Eve party the other night.
The caretaker and another person inside the home were able to make it out safely and no injuries were reported.
According to property records, the home was built in 1897 and is appraised at nearly $3 million.
Aerial footage from NBC10 Boston's Sky Ranger helicopter showed the heavy flames shooting from the top of the home. Numerous fire vehicles were surrounding the structure.
When firefighters arrived, there was smoke showing from the eaves and the second and third floor, Judge said.
"This is an exterior attack. The interior is too compromised at this point," Judge said. "They tried to make an attack, but it appears at this point that the fire shortly after it started got into the walls and ran the building. So at this point we're just trying to get it contained."
Judge said firefighters are experiencing water supply issues because there are no hydrants in the section of the town where the home is located.
"The main water supply is a cistern, which is about 30,000 gallons. That's going to go quick," Judge said.
He said a tanker shuttle has been set up using portable tanks to get water to the fire scene.
Crews were expected to remain on the scene throughout the evening.
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.