Fire Rips Through Meridian Street Home

By John Lynds

An electrical short circuit sparked a three-alarm fire at a large, multifamily condo complex on Meridian Street Sunday.

The Boston Fire Department responded just before 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon to 360 Meridian Street on Eagle Hill. Once firefighters arrived. there was smoke and fire coming from the third floor of the building. The fire started in the top floor of the nine-unit building and extended to the roof.

A third alarm was quickly ordered, and all firefighters were ordered off the roof as it became too unstable. Firefighters focused on interior operations in battling the blaze that BFD Chief Joseph Finn said caused $500,000 worth of damage.

A recently engaged couple and small business owners, Josh Butkus and Peggy McClellan, lost everything in the fire. Friends of Butkus, a a designer at Halliday Construction, and McCellan, a yoga instructor, launched a GoFundMe page for the couple. With the goal of raising $15,000 for the Eastie couple the fundraising page at has already raised $9,515.

“Peggy and Josh have remained so positive in it all, their soulful light burns brighter than the fire, and they are ready to press on,” said the couple’s friend Nik Michele who started to GoFundMe page.

The fire displaced 20 people all together but luckily no one was injured in the blaze.

“Excellent job by Incident Command and the firefighters both on arrival and during the fire,” said Finn. “Getting sufficient boots on the ground to contain the fire in this very dense neighborhood. Plus residents safely evacuated and no injuries. True professionals at work.”

On a positive note, what some are calling a Christmas Miracle occurred during Sunday’s fire.

While battling the blaze something caught Firefighter David McSweeney’s eye. At first he thought it was a stuffed animal but soon realized it was a cat. A photo snapped by the BFD shows McSweeney cradling the soaking wet and scared cat in his arms.

The cat was placed in Chief Finn’s SUV to warm up while firefighters tried to track down the cat’s owners. BFD Spokesman Marc Sanders told reporters the day after the fire that the cat has been reunited with its family and is doing ‘just fine’.





BFD crews battle a three-alarm blaze at 360 Meridian St. Sunday.


Found in the building was this cat here with Firefighter David McSweeney of Engine 7. The cat was placed in Chief Joseph Finn’s SUV to warm up. He was later reunited with his family.

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