Short circuit blamed in 5-alarm fire that damaged South Boston church

The inside of the church today
The inside of the church todayCredit: Boston Fire Department

Antiquated wiring in a ceiling light fixture behind the main altar of the St. John the Baptist Albanian Orthodox Church in South Boston short-circuited, causing the five-alarm fire that damaged the church Wednesday, according to Boston fire officials.

The church suffered extensive damage to the roof and the area behind the altar where the fire began, MacDonald said.

MacDonald said there was also a danger that the “very back part” of the church might collapse.

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Fire investigators and officials with the city's Inspectional Services Department assessed the damage to the church this morning.

The fire broke out Wednesday morning around 9:15 a.m. at 410 West Broadway, officials said. Total damage was estimated at $1 million, and Acting Fire Chief John Hasson told reporters at the scene Wednesday the church “looks like it’s going to be a total loss.”

Eight firefighters were injured fighting the blaze. Seven of the eight have been released, but one who sustained a deep cut to the leg needed surgery and remains in the hospital, MacDonald said.

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