A huge fire broke out in several residences in South Boston early Saturday morning, and five of the firefighters trying to contain the blaze were hurt.
The seven-alarm fire erupted about 3:30 a.m. on Columbia Road and Douglas Street and tore through about seven homes, the Boston Fire Department said. By 6:30 a.m., flames could no longer be seen shooting from windows.
Boston fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey said three of the injured firefighters were burned, though not seriously, and taken to the hospital. The other injured firefighters were treated at the scene.
"We were concerned about fire spreading up the block," said Dempsey. "We're lucky it wasn't a very windy night."
Thirty-eight people were displaced by the blaze, which tore through seven residential buildings, according to the fire department. Damage was estimated at $10 million, though none of the buildings' residents were hurt.
“Looked out my window and the whole top of the building was balls of fire,” neighbor Diane Sheenan said.
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The top floors of at least four buildings appeared completely burned out by dawn, though hot spots still flared up through the morning. Dempsey said at least five of the damaged buildings appeared to be a total loss.
Megan Ackley said her 8-year-old dog Remy is a hero for waking her and her roommate up and alerting them to the fire.
"We were just happy we got out and happy that the older couple and the toddler that lives on the top floor got out," she said.
Ackley was thankful for the quick and thorough response despite everything going on in the world: "It’s nice in a pandemic that everybody still comes together."
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was at the scene and volunteers with the Red Cross were helping the displaced residents.