Eight Boston Firefighters Injured in Five-Alarm Fire

Boston firefighters battled a stubborn five-alarm fire that tore through a historic church, reports The Boston Globe.

The fire was reported at 9:13 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Church. At about 1:30 p.m., more than four hours later, the fire and smoke had cleared up, but officials said firefighters were still chasing hot spots in the building and officials said they could be working at the scene until well into the night.

No one was inside the building when the fire broke out and no civilians were injured, but eight firefighters suffered a variety of minor injuries, officials said.

At the height of the fire, flames flickered from the building and smoke billowed into the air, creating a plume that was visible for miles and at times shrouding streets in the area.

“It looks like it’s going to be a total loss,” said John Hasson, acting chief of the fire department.

He said the initial call was for a grass fire in the rear of the building.

“Upon arrival, firefighters forced entry into the building. There was heavy fire around the altar, up the walls, and [it] extended into the ceiling and roof areas,” he said.

While firefighters were inside the building, the ceiling started to come down. An immediate evacuation was ordered and firefighters continued to fight the fire from outside the building, Hasson said.

He said it was difficult to get water onto the fire and firefighters let the fire burn through the roof to get access to the fire below.

He said firefighters were trying to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings in the densely populated neighborhood. He also said the odds were pretty good that the roof would collapse and firefighters had set up a collapse zone to protect people and buildings in the area.

Read more of the story here