Four-Alarm Fire Rips Through Eastie Warehouse

By John Lynds

A four-alarm blaze ripped through an old warehouse just outside of Central Square on Border Street Saturday night, injuring one firefighter.

The fire began at 6 p.m. when the Boston Fire Department responded to smoke and flames on the roof of the building at 170 Border St., a large three story warehouse adjacent to McDonalds in the square.

Firefighters had to spend some time relying on exterior operations to battle the blaze because the building was tightly sealed with metal roll up gates. After fighting the fire from above using several ladder companies, the department was able to access the interior of the building by cutting open the metal roll up doors.

Once inside firefighters discovered several dumpsters that were not in use.

Boston Fire’s Chief of Operations Jerry Fontana told reporters during a press briefing at the blaze that accessing the building and finding the source of the fire was the toughest part.

“It was pretty much buttoned up, hard to get into,” he said. “The steel doors had to be cut open. All the doors were heavy steel doors. It took us awhile to access. It was a tough fire to find. It was up in the roof line so it wasn’t easy access. We’re always careful when operating around a metal trust building because it can surprise you. If it fails, we lose a wall and if people aren’t operating safely, they can be in some danger.”

The fire shut down Eastie’s central business district for several hours as crews battled the fire. One firefighter was taken to an area hospital by EMS after injuring his back. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Fire Department.

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