Firefighters Battle Back Bay Blaze

Flames were reaching out of the building’s windows.

Photo via Boston Fire Department

Photo via Boston Fire Department

Firefighters battled an aggressive blaze that started on the fifth floor of a high-rise apartment building in the Back Bay on Saturday afternoon, before quickly moving its way to the floor above it.

First responders were called to the rear of 31 Massachusetts Ave., just after 2 p.m., where they had crews working from the ground, ladders, and nearby rooftops, blasting hoses in an effort to quell the flames of the fire that was roaring through the sides of the building, and was clearly visible from the street.

Boston Fire Department Spokesman Steve MacDonald was live-Tweeting the response from the ground, and said when the incident was called in it started as a two-alarm fire, before it intensified. “All companies working. Multiple lines from ladders, the ground, and adjourning buildings hitting the fire,” he said.

The Massachusetts State Police were notified, to deal with traffic control, and firefighters from Cambridge were called in to help with the flames.

People on the other side of the city, blocks away from the scene, were Tweeting photos of the plumes of smoke billowing out from the apartment complex on Massachusetts Ave. The brick apartment building is located between Marlborough and Beacon Streets, near the Massachusetts Ave. Bridge.

“[The] craziest thing I have ever witnessed first hand,” one person Tweeted, as they stood by an adjacent window and snapped a picture of the firefighters along the rooftops.

The roads nearby the scene of the fire were blocked off as curious bystanders lined the sidewalks across the street, and watched first responders blast hoses at the open window where the flames were pouring out.

The fire, which grew to a seven-alarm blaze, was knocked down just after 3 p.m. Two firefighters were treated for injuries, one  for smoke inhalation, and the other for burns to the neck. No  civilian injuries were reported, officials said.

Although nobody living in the building was hurt, 35 residents were displaced because of the fire, which officials said caused roughly $2.5 million in damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Photo Via Boston Fire Department

Photo Via Boston Fire Department

Photo via Boston Fire Department

Photo via Boston Fire Department


  • Laurence J. Gillis

    Appalling. Compelling photos. I’m glad no one was hurt.