5 firefighters hurt, nearly 40 displaced in 7-alarm Southie fire

SOUTH BOSTON, Mass. — Firefighters in South Boston battled a seven-alarm fire across seven buildings on Columbia Road starting at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday. The flames were out by mid-morning, but crews were still trying to control smoke and other damage after the fire was put out.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries; three were burned and two had heat-related injuries, according to the Boston Fire Department. Boston Fire Department Commissioner Jack Dempsey said the hurt firefighters are expected to be OK.

“It was heavy fire in the ceiling,” Commissioner Dempsey said. “We tried to do an aggressive interior attack first and that’s where the danger comes [because] they’re inside and the heavy fire from the ceiling and that’s where they got injured."

Crews were called to 1428 Columbia Rd. around 3:30 a.m. for heavy fire in multiple buildings. Officials said they believe the fire started in the back of a building before spreading.

It began as a four-alarm fire and grew to seven alarms, burning five three-decker homes and two wrap-around homes to Douglas Street. A roof on one of the buildings collapsed.

Commissioner Dempsey said five buildings are destroyed.

Around 40 residents have been displaced, but no residents have been reported hurt. The Red Cross is helping those find a place to stay.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Kristin Smith is one of the nearly 40 people displaced from their homes.

“Someone came and banged on the door at like 3 in the morning and woke her up because she lives on the bottom floor,” Smith said.

Like many other victims who spoke with Boston 25 News, Smith’s unit is now soaked with water.

“It’s muddy and flooded, it flooded around two feet in the bottom of the apartment,” Smith said.

Several GoFundMe accounts have already been created to raise donations for the many families who have been displaced.

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