Fitchburg condo complex destroyed by fire

FITCHBURG, Mass. — A condo building exploded into flames in Fitchburg on Sunday, and it took fire crews hours to get it under control.

The heat from the massive flames could be felt as they shot through the roof of the building.

"I heard a big explosion," said Porsha Roberts, a neighbor.

Neighbors heard an explosion before the condo building went up in flames Sunday. The black smoke poured into the air for hours as people could see it from miles away.

"Say you're at a fireworks show and you're standing next to a firework and it goes BOOM," said Seth Michaud, who lives in the building on Beekman Street. "And half the brick walls missing."

Michaud was right outside with his girlfriend when he heard the explosion.

"It almost sounded like a giant firework," he said. "And then debris just fell on top of us."

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His girlfriend suffered cuts from broken glass after the windows blew out.

"Everyone just lost all of their stuff, all their lives are gone and we just can't get anything back," said Kaylah Gravel, who lives on the third floor with Jacob Gravel.

The pair assumes that they lost their three cats and a rabbit in the fire. Jacob tried to save them.

"I went up to the door and opened it up and it was straight black and there was no way," he said.

Roberts lives across the street and saw it all when it started.

"I went inside to try to get anybody that was inside out, and I got to the third floor and that's when I saw all the flames and black smoke," she said.

Now, several hours later, firefighters continue to fight that black smoke and flames well into the night.

"I had someone inside my house call 911 and they were here in a heartbeat," Roberts said. "So thank God these responders are here to do what they do."

The Fitchburg fire captain tells Boston 25 News that all residents made it out safely, but some pets may still be missing. Mass. State Police is also on scene investigating, but it could be awhile before we learn what caused the fire.