A devastating four-alarm fire ripped through several homes on Princeton Street over the weekend. The terrifying blaze began at 3 p.m. Saturday in the basement of 125 Princeton St. Once on the scene Boston Firefighters quickly called in a second-alarm. A third alarm was sounded when the fire jumped to a second home and, less than half hour later as the fire threatened a third home on the street, Boston Fire called in a fourth-alarm and crews from the Chelsea Fire Department came over to assist in putting out the flames.
“We saw the flames and rushed up to the house,” said one neighbor that assisted in helping families get out of the building. “People were going in and out of the building. I asked one of the residents if everyone was out of the building. They nodded and I knew they didn’t speak English. We found an interpreter who asked and they told us that everybody was out. We had the interpreter go next door to 127 Princeton and evacuate that building.”
Witnesses said they were amazed at how quickly the fire spread. One witness said the fire department arrived a few minutes after smoke was seen coming out of 125 Princeton St. and within a few minutes the flames shot up and out of the back of the building and within seconds, the entire home was engulfed in flames. In another few seconds 123 Princeton St. was on fire as well.
“For me, my family and many neighbors this served as a chilling reminder of the unimaginable speed, power and devastation of an urban blaze,” said another resident that lived around the block from the fire on Saratoga Street. “First on the scene were the firefighters from Engine 5 but one wonders what could have been had they not arrived so quickly. To watch the wind fanned flames leap from building to building was truly a frightening sight.”
Another witness said the fire was so intense that as the flames shot up one of buildings, it exploded out of the roof and a flood of heavy black smoke engulfed the entire neighborhood. With it came a shower of flaming black debris flying all the way to Saratoga Street doorsteps.
While the firefighters on the scene bravely fought the fire that threatened the neighborhood block, firefighters on the scene said the neighborhood responded well, with many people helping out, checking on each other and assisting the firemen.
The fire significantly damaged two homes, caused over $500,000 worth of damage and displaced at least a dozen people according to Boston Fire.