Waltham lawmaker calling for stricter building code after massive blaze

WALTHAM, Mass. — Waltham City Council is calling on state leaders to stiffen regulations around the material used in new construction residential complexes.

Last week a multi-million-dollar development that would have housed more than 260 people was destroyed as fire tore through multiple buildings that were under construction.

The cause of the fire still hasn’t been determined, but City Councilor Robert Logan said the material being used wasn’t safe and new regulations need to be put in place to prevent future blazes of the same type.

Logan said hearings must be held at the state level to investigate the building code that allows for structures to be built this way, and is calling for regulations that involve more steel and concrete with less wood.

Monday night, Logan introduced a measure to the council that passed 14-0.

"Obviously city council sensed the urgency of the matter," he said.

Boston 25 News reporter Evan White reached out to the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston for a comment but has not yet heard back.

Former Waltham firefighter Stephen Mahoney said the wood frame is safe once the building is completed, but can be a risk during construction.

"It can be built with wood then the inside, because [it's] covered with sheet rock and with brick, is fire rated. The outside is generally like other buildings, covered with brick, and there are windows in it and there's really no danger."

The state fire marshal and city fire marshal are still at the site where the Edison on the Charles complex was destroyed looking in to the cause of the fire.

There are plans to build on the site once the investigation is completed.