Egleston Square blaze draws 75 jakes to scene
On the second hottest day ever recorded in Boston, 75 jakes battled a three-alarm blaze in Egleston Square today that injured no one, but caused heavy damage to an apartment building, fire officials said.
A carelessly dropped cigarette sparked the blaze on the third floor porch of the Columbus Avenue building about 2:30 p.m. and spread to the rubber roof, said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.
He said 12 people were displaced in the fire. Scores of firefighters deployed to battle the fire from inside the burning building, tearing down the ceiling and chasing hot spots throughout the structure, to make sure the blaze was extinguished.
Deputy Chief Michael Doherty said the fire caused about $250,000 in damage. He said one boy, age 10 or 11, was home at the time of the fire but walked out safely under his own power. Doherty said he believes the boy was with relatives at the scene. Doherty said the fire tested jakes abilities to work in today’s blistering heat.
“Guys can only work 10 to 15 minutes in their gear, and we’ve got to start rotating people in,” he said. “We called in two extra ladder companies because there was a lot of overhauling. There was some trapped fire in the walls, the ceilings, got to pull those. It’s a lot of exertion.”
Doherty said firefighters brought in a portable awning for shade, coolers filled with water and Gatorade as well as misters and an air conditioned bus to help jakes keep cool. Boston EMS Special Operations staged with their own supply of water and cool-off gear for weary firefighters.
No firefighters were injured battling the blaze, hospitalized or struck ill with any heat-related illness, Doherty said.