At approximately 14:45 hrs Boston Fire Alarm Communications Center began receiving numerous 911 calls for a reported building fire at 23 Lithgow Street in Dorchester. The nearest box, Box: 342 (Codman Sq.) was immediately struck.
The first arriving companies, Engine 52 and Ladder 6, called off with heavy smoke showing from the rear of a 3 story wood frame house. Ladder 6 established command briefly before Car 8 (District 8 Chief) arrived who assumed command of the fire. Engine 52 quickly reported that there was a neighboring exposure building (19 Lithgow St.) on the Delta side of the house and a 2nd alarm was ordered at 14:52 hrs bringing additional Companies to the scene.
Shortly after the 2nd alarm was transmitted Ladder Co. 6 reported to command that there was fire on the second and third floor of the main fire building and the primary search was negative on floor two and advised they were conducting a search of floor three.
Upon their arrival Engine 24 immediately requested Fire Alarm to send Boston Police for traffic control at the intersection of Washington St. & Talbot Ave. due to numerous large hose lines being stretched across the road as well as countless fire apparatus.
Due to the fire extending to the the neighboring house, Car 8 ordered Engine 17 to bring a line to the third floor and stop it from progressing. Unfortunately the fire in the second building completely burned through the rear porches causing them to collapse.
An Emergency message was sent over the radio to advise members of the situation and ordering them not to stand on or near the rear porches. Ladder 7 working in the delta exposure reported to command that the had fire in the ceiling of floor three.
With numerous lines run and operating in both buildings, crews continued to battle the flames from both inside and out. C7 (Division 2) arrived on scene at approximately 15:00 hrs and took over command. Engine 21 located on Talbot Ave. reported to command that they could access the fire from the rear by using Brent St. going through neighboring yards and were assigned to the Box.
On the orders of Division Chief Malone (C7), a third alarm was struck as the RIT companies on scene were put to work. Engine 42 and Ladder 16 responding on the Third Alarm as the new RIT Companies were advised to report to the front of the building upon their arrival. Fire Commissioner Paul Burke (C1) also arrived on the Third alarm and assumed command making C7 in charge of Operations.
After facing hoarding conditions on the third floor companies were able to knock down the fire not only in the original fire building but the neighboring exposure as well and begin overhauling operations to ensure the fire was completely out. Detail Companies were brought in to monitor the buildings and to chase any hot spots that may have been missed.
In total 17 people, 3 dogs and a cat were displaced between both 19 and 23 Lithgow St. One firefighter was transported by Boston EMS with minor injuries. The Boston Fire Department Fire Investigation Unit is investigating to find the cause of this fire.