Five-alarm blaze strikes multifamily building in East Boston

A five-alarm fire tore through a large, three-story multifamily unit on Sumner Street early Tuesday morning in East Boston.

Deputy Chief Richard DiBenedetto of the Boston Fire Department said at the scene that the blaze started at about 11:30 p.m. Monday on the third floor, and at least 15 people were displaced.

“They had heavy fire showing on the third floor, up through the roof,” DiBenedetto said.

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Steve MacDonald, Fire spokesman, said two people were taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation.

Dylan Durning, 29, and Evan Dooley, 28, evacuated their apartment at 265 Sumner St. when they became aware that the roof of their building was also on fire.

“Everyone’s out,” said Dooley, while sitting on a heated bus with his roommate, their dog, and other residents from the building. “We hope our apartment wasn’t affected.

“Nobody was hurt. People were going around knocking on doors when we left,” Dooley added.

The Fire Department said on Twitter that “heavy fire” was reported between the second and third floors.

The fire, which occurred on a block of closely located homes, appeared to be knocked down at about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, with firefighters searching for hot spots on the roof and inside the structure, which suffered heavy damage on the third floor.

MacDonald, a Fire spokesman, said officials were investigating the cause. The Fire Department said in a tweet that damages were estimated at $600,000.

At the scene, Rene Hernandez said in Spanish through a translator that he and his wife rushed out of the building with their son, who was wrapped in a Spider-Man blanket, and neighbors were crying outside.

Erasmo Gomez, 17, said he ran out of his second-floor apartment when the fire started and alerted the nearby firehouse.

“I can’t even talk,” said Gomez, who was wrapped in a blanket at the scene. “I’m freezing, I’m scared. I’m scared to go back to my house.”

He said that when he ran to the firehouse he was also praying for his family and his puppy, who all made it out safely.

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