Firefighters Respond To Fire At Casket Company In East Boston

(Credit: Boston Fire/Twitter)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston firefighters are battling a large 9-alarm fire at the New England Casket Company on Bennington Street in East Boston Friday.

The fire prompted the evacuation of the entire Orient Heights neighborhood due to heavy smoke Boston Fire Officials said.

Anyone living in the area should head to the Curtis Guild School at 195 Leyden Street.

There was no initial report of injuries, however according to Boston EMS one police officer was treated for smoke inhalation and was transported to a local hospital.

Boston Fire Commissioner Joe Finn said crews will be on-scene throughout the evening.

"We're trying to get a handle on it... It's a very difficult fire to fight due to access," Finn said.

Officials says they received a call shortly after 3 p.m. Firefighters were ordered out and off the two story building for fear it could collapse.

"They were workers in the building but they were all able to evacuate safely," said Finn.

Finn said that the entire building was a total loss and that the evacuation was put in place for residents safety due to the amount of smoke coming from the structure.

"There are some chemicals in there...but they are less toxic than the real bad stuff...we've have been monitoring the atmosphere but they are within reasonable range," Finn said.

Residents will not be allowed to return until fire and smoke is cleared

Several business owners near the fire tell WBZ NewsRadio that the scene has chaotic and lots of smoke in the area.

(Credit: Google Maps)

MBTA says Blue Line service has been suspended between Orient Heights and Wonderland at the request of the fire department. MBTA officials say that buses will replace trains in both directions.

Sources tell WBZ NewsRadio that the New England Casket Company only works in high end woods, which means, no metal caskets.

While they were not 100-percent certain about the company’s chemical process, they say that firefighters are likely fighting fires fuelled with acetone, used for cleaning and plenty of sawdust, which goes up easily among all the high-end wood.

The company is well known and respected in the burial industry and is a long standing-family business.

Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards tells WBZ NewsRadio that she was on her way to the evacuation location to check on residents.

"This is for me the biggest fire i've seen in the city," Said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

This is a developing story. Stay with WBZ NewsRadio.

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