A fire erupted at 3:00pm in Berkshire Street in East Cambridge near Boston Massachusetts Saturday, damaging over seven buildings and uprooting almost 60 residents from surrounding homes.
As the fire rapidly spread from the source, fire brigades from around twenty communities were asked to take part in the control and extinguishing of the wildly spreading fire.
Gerald Reardon, Cambridge Fire Chief, discusses the extent of which the fire spread along Kendall and Inman squares, a heavily dense residential area.
“Fortunately it was daytime… People are awake, available, not sleeping” he explained to the media on site.
The fire spread from rooftop to rooftop, throwing debris and clouds of black pungent smoke into the air spreading several blocks away from the original source.
In addition, winds of up to twenty-five miles per hour aided in the swift spreading of flames and smoke.
Onlookers recall up to six fire trucks rushed to tend to the emergency. Firefighters urged bystanders to protect their nose and mouths from the pollution, which could cause serious damage to their respiratory function.
The 10-alarm fire was finally under a manageable state by 8:00pm after exhausting efforts to navigate fire trucks and equipment within the crowded narrow streets of the neighborhood.
Officials reported four injuries including two officers, as well as significant damage to surrounding vehicles, several three-deckers, and the three family residence from which the fire originated.
The home on Berkshire Street was currently in the process of renovation for the past month; the cause of the fire is yet to be determined, reported Reardon, however it is estimated to have started somewhere on the property which has now fully collapsed.
Electricity was shut off to the surrounding area and residents were encouraged to go to a shelter set up on Cambridge Ridge and Latin School due to the unknown duration of rescue efforts.
Michael Workman, a neighbor who lives across the street, was first to report the fire to authorities.
“It went up in a heartbeat…It was just raging … It was just going so fast. I’ve never seen anything like that” he told reporters.
Another witness, Lauren Trulik, saw the blazing fire on her drive home from work. “I’ve never been so close to a big fire before,” she explained.
“We saw people leaving with their pets.” Residence have yet to be told when they may return to their homes safely.