Residents run for safety as three-alarm blaze burns in Chelsea multi-family

CHELSEA—Residents of a multi-family building ran to safety today after fire broke out in the rear of the three-story structure. The blaze grew to three alarms before Chelsea firefighters were able to bring it under control.

Three-alarm fire in Chelsea (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)

Resident Awilda Morales said she rushed from door to door in the six-family building, knocking on doors in an effort to alert her neighbors.

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“I knocked on people’s doors so they could come out. I rang doorbells and everything,’’ she said. “We were able to get out safe.’’

Another resident, Nilsa Mendez, fought back tears as she surveyed the still-smoking building this afternoon.

“I want to cry. I want to cry, oh, yeah, I do,’’ the 27-year-old Mendez said. “Because I lost everything for my kids. I don’t have anything for my kids.’’

The blaze at 142 Congress Ave. broke out shortly after 1 p.m. Firefighters called for more help when rear porches became engulfed in flames, officials said.

According to city assessing records, the 4,080-square-foot building was built in 1920 and is owned by Mia Realty LLC of Byfield. It is assessed at $177,200.