WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester Fire Department is battling a multi-car fire inside a parking garage at the UMass Medical University campus.
The UMass Medical School tweeted that a parked car caught on fire in the South Road garage. Officials say a minivan caught on fire in the garage and ten cars have been damaged.
Officials at UMass Memorial in Worcester tell #Boston25 ten cars damaged after minivan ignited in flames on third floor in parking garage. Ambulatory Care Center was evacuated due to fumes pic.twitter.com/i9a8UwRFdU— Drew Karedes (@DrewKaredes) January 18, 2018
Hundreds had to be evacuated from the Ambulatory Care Center, which is attached to the garage.
"It was a difficult process to get everyone out, everyone was unsure what was going on, people wanted to go to their cars. It was a lot of chaos," said UMass Memorial Operations Engineer Bob Vig.
.@umassmemorial @UMassMedAlerts Update: a vehicle fire in South Road Garage-University Campus is restricting access to garage until at least 7:30 pm. Visitors and patients and staff may park in Pine Tree Lot on South Road. Worcester Fire on scene.— UMass Medical School (@UMassMedical) January 17, 2018
Getting water onto the growing fire was a logistical challenge for fire crews, who pulled lines up over the roof, into the lobby and through a door.
"We can't get any of our equipment in there, everything has to be pumped through trucks," said District Fire Chief Michael Lavoie.
As of 8:30 pm on January 17, all cars parked in the @umassmemorial Ambulatory Care Center garage can now be safely picked up. If you have questions please speak to a parking attendant at one of the entrances. @UMassMedical @UMassMedAlerts #umassmemorialalerts— UMass Memorial (@umassmemorial) January 18, 2018
Even after firefighters extinguished the flames, the holding pattern continued for hours for those who had parked in the garage. Drivers were finally able to pick up their cars from the garage as of 8:30 p.m.
Companies picking up at 55 N Lake Ave. 8 vehicles were on fire in the parking garage. No injuries pic.twitter.com/eemQHCxVXD— Worcester Fire Dept. (@WorcesterFD) January 17, 2018
The fire chief says the fire does not seem suspicious. There were no injuries.
The fire marshal's office is expected to return to the scene in the morning to pick up the investigation.
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