Firefighters encountered serious water issues Saturday as they battled a massive blaze that destroyed a multi-family home in Lynn, Massachusetts, and sent one firefighter to the hospital.
Flames broke out around 11:30 a.m. and spread fast, completely engulfing the 2.5-story wood-framed residential building on Broadway and sparking a brush fire in the woods behind it that encompassed multiple acres.
All 11 residents were able to make it out to safety, and they did not report any injuries, the fire chief said. One firefighter was taken to Salem Hospital to be treated for exhaustion; he is expected to be okay.
The fire was roaring from the start, with flames shooting into the sky and black smoke visible for miles.
"It got a good head start on us, it was already roaring by the time we pulled up," the fire chief said.
The water issues presented a serious challenge, impacting the fire department's ability to fight the fire.
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"We were making a little bit of progress before we lost water. We lost hydrant pressure in the hydrants," the fire chief said. "The water problems hindered us tremendously, it was a big, big problem and unfortunately it really hampered us being able to make the aggressive attack we wanted to."
The fire was contained by 1:30 p.m., but the home, which contains five separate apartments, is a total loss, the fire chief said.
Firefighters were still on scene well into the afternoon with the blaze reaching four alarms. And while the house was reduced to smoldering ash and rubble, fire crews were able to prevent it from seriously damaging the homes on either side -- no easy task given the water challenges.
The fire's cause is under investigation.