Massive fire engulfs Waltham construction site

WALTHAM, Mass. — A windy Sunday morning helped fan the flames of a massive fire in Waltham, destroying five buildings at a construction site.

Several fire departments, including Needham, were called in to help battle the 7-alarm fire.

According to Waltham Fire Chief Paul Ciccone, there were five buildings under construction in the lot on Elm Street from Pine Street to Moody Street. He said there were no fire prevention tools, like sprinklers, in place, which allowed the fire to spread.

"Multiple explosions during the fire...something to do with the construction material -- could be propane, anything like that," Chief Ciccone said.

He said it was a 'challenge' to get water on the fire because of the layout, but firefighters were able to stop the flames at the construction site and they didn't spread to any nearby buildings.

Ciccone said it's still too early to determine the cause of the fire.

Two evacuation sites have been set up as shelters for elderly people from nearby housing complexes needing to get away from the smoke, according to the Red Cross.

The fire started just north of Moody Street in Waltham, there was no immediate report of injuries. The construction site was the future home of 264 apartments being built by Lincoln Cooper Street LLC.

The company's vice president was on scene early Sunday morning at the complex, which was set to be called The Edison.

Ciccone said no firefighters had been injured and the crews had done a good job getting the fire under control.

According to the project spokesperson, Waltham's building inspector participated in a joint inspection of the site last week with the Waltham Fire Department and the project passed.