The Boston Fire Department battled a 9-alarm fire at a 4-story brick rowhouse in the 200 block of Beacon Street in the Back Bay on Wednesday. Two firefighters were killed in the blaze and Boston EMS said that 18 people were transported from the scene to area hospitals.
WBZ-TV reported that “No residents of the building have been reported missing, according to authorities.”
The fire wreaked havoc as heavy winds from the Charles River helped it spread and blew billowing smoke further into the city.. A statement from the Boston Transportation Department advised commuters to avoid certain streets in the Back Bay. The statement read:
Beacon Street is closed from the intersection of Arlington Street past the intersection of Fairfield Street. At this time, Beacon Street at Massachusetts Avenue remains open. Storrow Drive Eastbound is closed at the Fenway/Kenmore Exit. Commuters are being allowed to turn right from Commonwealth to Berkeley Street onto Storrow Drive Eastbound. Storrow Drive Westbound is closed at Leverett Circle.
Dustin Fitch, a Massachusetts State Police Trooper, said that Storrow Drive would be closed to all traffic. The road has since reopened except for the right lane on the inbound side:
At a press conference Wednesday night, officials said that the fire is not suspicious. Earlier in the day NECN reported that the fire scene was deemed a “crime scene”:
Officials at the press conference added that the investigation into the fire is still ongoing.
The wind that caused so many problems for firefighters gusted above 40 mph, according to WCVB:
Authorities said the fire began in the building’s basement and traveled upward.
Here is a map showing the location of the fire:
Another 9-alarm fire took place in 2010 at a building not far from today’s blaze. The 7th and 8th floors of a 10-story condo building at 483 Beacon St. were engulfed in flames on April 7th of that year. Four residents and one firefighter were hospitalized and the building suffered approximately $3.5 million in damage.