ROCKLAND, Mass. — Crews from 13 communities raced to the scene of a massive 7-alarm fire that broke out inside an abandoned warehouse in Rockland early Wednesday morning.
Rockland fire Chief Scott Duffy said the department received a call at 4:44 a.m. reporting a large fire at 76 Park St.
Crews arrived at the scene two minutes later and immediately raised the alarm to get more resources to the scene to battle the inferno.
“It was the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen,” Rockland fire Capt. Thomas Heaney said.
Heaney said that when he arrived at the scene, it was ‘raining fire.’
“I never thought I would be seeing something like this,” he said. “I arrived pretty early, and there were large embers falling on my head and my personal vehicle. They were blowing down the street.”
The fire was so massive that the smoke plume was picked up on radar.
Heaney said two homes were smoking when he arrived, but the situation could have been much worse.
“They were two homes that I thought we were going to lose,” he said.
Heaney said the two homes were not burning, but were exposed to the intense heat from the blaze at the warehouse. He said fire crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the homes with quick access to the hose lines.
Wind direction helped to keep the fire from spreading further.
Heaney said if the fire has been blowing toward Webster Street, 10 homes, a nursing home and a church would have all been threatened by the fire.
Power has been cut in one block in each direction and all schools were operating on a 2-hour delay to give crews more time to battle the flames.
Homes surrounding the burning structure were also evacuated. Those evacuations affected at least 20 people and as of Wednesday morning they are still not allowed back inside.
Officials said the fire is under control, but they expected to be at the scene all day to continue clean-up efforts and to investigate what sparked the blaze.
Three ambulances were sent to the scene, but thankfully no injuries have been reported.
It's unclear what caused the fire, but police said there have been several calls in the past for trespassers and people breaking in to the building.
Cox Media Group