Boston neighborhood evacuated as firefighters battle 9-alarm blaze

Courtesy of NBC 10
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BOSTON (NBC10) - Firefighters are evacuating residents as they continue to battle a massive 9-alarm fire in East Boston on Friday.

The fire was first reported shortly after 3 p.m. on 1141 Bennington St., the home of New England Casket Company.

Heavy fire and smoke were reported throughout the building, Boston fire said. All fire companies were ordered out of the building and off the roof soon after they arrived at the scene.

Aerial footage from NBC10 Boston's Sky Ranger showed firefighters attacking the flames from above with the help of more than a half dozen ladder trucks.

It's just raging at this point," Boston fire spokesman Brian Alkins said. "The fire started on the roof, it's now inside the building. We're doing surround and drown at this point."

Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn said structure is one main building connected with other buildings. He said one of the main issues was getting water to the structure.

"Our issue was water. And we need pumps. We had us going through a rely operation to get water down to the building so it takes a number of pumps along that circuit to get that moving," said Finn.

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He added that the crews also had chemicals inside the building to contend with.

"Our concerned now is there's a bunch of chemicals in the building that are used as lacquers and thinners and things like that that are bringing a concern to us," said Finn.

One police officer was taken to an area hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.