Firefighters Are Battling a Huge Fire in Charlestown

Damage is in the millions of dollars, officials say.


Photo courtesy of Rachele Pojednic

Update, July 21, 4:46 p.m.: Firefighters continue to battle flames that ripped through a Charlestown residence on Thursday and impacted several other buildings on Bunker Hill Street.

The fire in a five-floor wood-and-brick building began around 1:45 p.m., and the Boston Fire Department has since elevated its status to six alarms, according to the department’s official Twitter account.

No residents were injured, officials said. One firefighter was brought to Massachusetts General Hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion and others working in the hot and smokey conditions underwent evaluations at the scene.

The damage is most concentrated in the five-floor townhouse where the fire began, which has 10 units and was a “total loss,” BFD Commissioner Joe Finn told reporters Thursday. The fire impacted at least three buildings, he said, adding that the cost of the damage in the area would be in the millions of dollars.

Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire, and firefighters continued battling flames in the townhouse’s basement into the late afternoon, Finn said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many people would be displaced. Mayor Marty Walsh asked families in need of services to contact the city by calling 311.

“A lot of family members haven’t come home yet,” Walsh said.

He had words of praise for first responders.

“They were here fast and they potentially avoided a lot of problems,” Walsh said. “Over here in Charlestown the housing stock is very close to each other, and they were able to get in here and control the fire and work to put it out, so I want to commend them.”

Photos and video posted to social media show that the fire had engulfed the rear side of one building before crews blasted it with water.