Boston Firefighters were met with a fierce battle on Tuesday afternoon as they fought to extinguish a raging fire at a large residence on Cushing Ave. in Dorchester. The fire started in the basement of the building and continued to travel up throughout the structure, eventually burning through the roof. As a result, a fourth alarm was struck at around 2 p.m. to bring in additional support.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital by Boston EMS to receive treatment for what officials say are minor injuries. Twenty-one residents were displaced by the fire, including twelve adults and nine children. However, everyone inside the building at the time of the fire was able to get out safely.
All firefighters were ordered out of the building for their safety, as they continued to attack the blaze from above. Boston Fire Commissioner Paul Burke noted the difficult conditions, saying “There were holes in the floor, so we couldn’t keep them in that long — once the thing got going, we had to pull the firefighters out, so the fire was fought from the outside.”
Sam Dillon, President of Boston Firefighters Local 718, the union which represents the Jakes said, “Our members displayed commendable resolve under especially dangerous conditions. The skilled aggressive attack, dedication, and tenacity demonstrated by Local 718 Firefighters are exactly what the citizens of the City of Boston can expect, whenever they call us for help.”
The American Red Cross of Massachusetts has mobilized to provide housing and assistance to displaced residents. Additionally, personnel from the Salvation Army and the Red Cross have been deployed to provide food and services to those affected by the fire.
One resident said on the scene, “We are devastated, but I think we’re going to be okay.” Nonetheless, it is always hard to see everything destroyed, especially when so many memories are attached to it. At present, there is no word on the cause of the fire. However, the authorities are expected to investigate the matter thoroughly. Their heroic efforts of the Boston Jakes serve as a reminder of the invaluable service they provide to the community.