2-alarm fire displaces residents in Back Bay

"It all happened very fast."

Fire crews responded to 168 Beacon St. Saturday night. Maddie Kilgannon, for The Boston Globe

Firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire in Boston’s Back Bay Saturday night.

The fire began on the second floor of 168 Beacon St. shortly before 6 p.m., which is the home to three residential units.

Firefighters were able to safely evacuate all the units. There were no reported injuries, officials said.

“We’re looking at the possibility that it could have been something to do with gas fed because every time we tried to extinguish it, it would start flaring up again,’’ Deputy Chief Robert Calobrisi said.

The fire spread to the third floor, but firefighters were able to extinguish the fire after shutting off the gas, Calobrisi said.


Gerald W. Blakeley III and his wife Yunie had just come home from Cape Cod an hour before the fire started. Blakeley said he had gone up to his bedroom after working in his study on the second floor and said he smelled the fire.

“All of the sudden we saw smoke coming and … it all happened very fast,’’ he said.

The couple were not allowed back inside the building, but said that they planned to spend the night at a family member’s house close by.

The majority of the damage was done to the second and third floors but the first and fourth also sustained some water and smoke damage, Calobrisi said.

After the fire was safely knocked down, crews cleared the scene pulling heavy hoses and stepping on the shattered glass from the window as they exited the building.

“December has been a tough month, particularly for Worcester,’’ Calobrisi said.

Christopher Roy, a 36-year-old Worcester firefighter, was killed in the line of duty last Sunday. His funeral was Saturday.

Calobrisis offered thoughts and prayers to the entire community in mourning.

“It’s been a tough day today,’’ Calobrisi said. “But, we do our jobs and we understand the risks and unfortunately that’s part of it.’’


Two firefighters lost their lives fighting a fire further down Beacon Street four years ago.

“Every time they hit a box for Beacon Street it makes me nervous. Any time they hit a box it makes me nervous in general — Beacon Street particularly so,’’ Calobrisi said. “It’s not a good memory.’’

The fire is under investigation.