Video: Boston Fire Department Puts Out Blaze on Roof Deck

The fire caused roughly $200,000 worth of damage, but no one was injured.


Around 8:50 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, just days before the holiday weekend, fire officials responded to a roof deck along Massachusetts Avenue where a blaze caused by an illegal charcoal grill broke out and lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Firefighters, who managed to put out the flames in about an hour, had to open up the roof of the seven-story brick condo building in order to completely put out the blaze. The Boston Fire Department estimated that the fire caused around $200,000 in damages to the property, but no one was reported injured during the incident.

Nobody was displaced because of the fire, according to officials.

The fire broke out on a roof deck, and was captured by residents in a neighboring building.

The fire was caused by an illegal charcoal grill, according to Boston Fire Department Spokesman Steve MacDonald. Residents are reminded that rooftop grilling, although enjoyable, isn’t allowed in Massachusetts, or Boston, unless people are using legal grills as defined by state and city law, he said.

“There was a sign in the condo, and one of [the signs] was that grilling of any type was not allowed under law,” he said. “They clearly had it addressed, but it’s unfortunate. I guess it just wasn’t enforced.”

Massachusetts state law says that propane grills are not allowed above the first floor porches of homes, and similarly, under Boston rules and regulations, both propane and charcoal grills are not allowed above ground level porches at all, especially on rooftops, and should stay on the lower levels, or away from the house when used for cooking.

There are exceptions to the rule, such as natural gas grills on building rooftop decks, if they are piped in by a licensed professional, and the proper permits are pulled and filed with city inspectors.

Learn more about Boston’s outdoor grilling rules and regulations here.