Firefighters respond to 3-alarm fire in East Boston

BOSTON — Firefighters were busy trying to put out a 3-alarm fire in East Boston Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters were quick to respond to the scene, but as they got to the fire, they found that the closest fire hydrant was frozen.

Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn says the freezing temperatures made fighting the flames more difficult, so they needed to call help from other agencies.

"They actually had a propane tank and a little heater next to the fire hydrant, heating it up, which was pretty interesting," said Commissioner Finn. "This does occur, but I'll tell you, it's not the norm."

According to officials, the fire broke out before 1:00 p.m on Meridian St.

The Boston Fire Dept. said the fire was on the top floor of a 3-story building - and it extended through the roof.

Firefighters were quickly ordered off the roof due to its instability.

No injuries have been reported, but firefighters rescued a small cat from inside the burning home. The cat was placed inside a car with the heat turned up and eventually returned to its owner.

About an hour after responding to the fire, the Boston Fire Department tweeted they were still fighting some hot spots in the 8-unit duplex house. The estimated initial damage is set at around $500,000 dollars.

Fifteen to twenty people are now displaced due to the fire, including the cat rescued by the Fire Department. They carried out as much as they could salvage, and are now looking for a temporary place to stay, one week before Christmas.

Icy conditions were also a problem at another fire that happened in Quincy on Sunday morning.

The water from the fire hoses quickly turned into ice, and that's when a firefighter slipped and fell while responding to the fire.

"Just the cold weather I mean everything's freezing at this point, it's very slippery up there, it's a little treacherous right now for the firefighters and people working on the building, but we'll be okay," said Commissioner Finn.

The cause of both fires, in Quincy and East Boston, are still under investigation.