One firefighter was hurt Monday battling a 4-alarm fire that destroyed a Medford, Massachusetts, auto body shop.
The fire, which was reported shortly after 10 a.m. at the intersection of Harvard Street and Mystic Avenue, raged for hours. Fears of a roof collapse forced firefighters out to a defensive attack.
"We got reports that the roof was spongy, so what we did is we just got everybody out, which makes it so hard, the best way to fight a fire is from inside," said Medford Fire Deputy Chief William Young.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Everyone made it out of the building, which is home to Automotive Services of Boston, but one firefighter was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment of unknown injuries. He is expected to be OK.
"It's an automotive business, which can be complicated because you don't know what you have in there between paint and gasoline," said Young. "It was above a car bay, so it was tough to get at, firewalls all around."
Aerial footage from NBC10 Boston's Sky Ranger helicopter showed massive plumes of smoke pouring from the scene which could be seen for miles over a portion of Interstate 93.
Danny Rodriguez, who works at Milhench Supply Company next door, said he watched the building go up in flames quickly.
"Within 15 minutes, it kicked back in and there was no stopping it," Rodriquez said. "They just finished renovating, so it's pretty sad to see it up in flames like that."
Medford Mayor Stephanie Burke said the building appears to be a total loss.
"He's been here a very long time, I think it's been over 20 years," Burke said.
She added that the building would be demolished.
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.