QUINCY (WBZ NewsRadio) — A large fire tore through four buildings in Quincy Tuesday, causing one to collapse.
The blaze at Newport Avenue and Wollaston Center caused street closures and sent a plume of dark smoke into the sky.
Officials said a cab driver noticed the flames coming from an empty building there, and notified Quincy Fire. The building was under renovation after it was destroyed in another fire two years ago.
Quincy Fire Capt. Dan Gorman said the building was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived, and the wind wasn't making things any easier.
"It was a big deal for us," he said. "I wanna say it was blowing 20, 25 miles per hour, it was going right up the street. The fire wanted to just take right off."
However, crews were able to stop the flames from spreading to a nearby apartment building.
"The big part that caught my eye was the strong winds pushing it into the direction of the five-story apartment house," Gorman said. "I cannot say strongly enough what a phenomenal job all the guys did in protecting that building."
MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo took these photos of the fire from the Wollaston MBTA stop:
Before crews could even put water on the blaze, they had to go door to door to get people out; 30-40 people were evacuated from nearby buildings and are now receiving assistance from the Red Cross.
"It was a tense fifteen minutes," Gorman said. "We didn't know how many people were in there. We were breaking down doors. People were in their units, they didn't know the buildings were on fire. It could have been a different outcome."
One firefighter suffered minor injuries.
Smoke from the fire even caught the attention of the National Weather Service:
Quincy Police said Newport Avenue was closed from Furnace Brook northbound, and that Beale Street was closed from Wollaston Center to Harvard Street. They warned the public to avoid the area.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports