East Boston Casket Company Plans To Help Employees And Rebuild After Blaze

BOSTON (AP/WBZ NewsRadio) — Firefighters in Boston are continuing to pour water on hot spots after battling a nine-alarm fire at a building where caskets are built.

The massive blaze injured five first responders and forced nearby residents to leave their homes.

The fire at the New England Casket Company broke out around 3 p.m. Friday and raged for hours in the East Boston neighborhood.

Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn says two Boston police officers, two Boston firefighters and a firefighter from nearby Chelsea were hurt. All were expected to recover.

Residents evacuated at the height of the blaze were allowed to return home late Friday night, but subway service was still suspended.

Finn says some chemicals stored in the building were released into the air during the fire but don't appear dangerous.

Despite losing his family run business in the 9-alarm blaze, the owner of New England Casket Company, Louis Tobia, said that he is worried about his employees following the fire.

He tells WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe while he is weighing options he is vowing to take care of his 95 employees and possibly rebuild again.

"We're going to try to do as much as we possibly can for them," Tobia said. "And what concerns me more is we supply 100 percent of the health insurance."

The 86 year old Tobia says he's also concerned about customers, because in his words, "they depend on us too."

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WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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