A crowd of people gathered to watch as Berkshire Street burned. Some followed the smoke and their own sense of curiosity. Others, like Krissy Ellsworth, looked more anxious.
“Yeah, I live in the house that’s currently on fire right now. That tall one with the flames," she said, pointing to a blue, three story building that kept blazing up, despite the tireless efforts of firefighters spraying it from a ladder. "That was my house.”
Ellsworth bought a condo in the building more than six years ago, and lived there with two housemates who rented from her.
"I don't know what to do," she said as she looked around for someone official to tell her what she needed to do. "I'm really at a loss right now. I need to figure out where to go. Right now, I'm in shock."
Ellsworth wasn't home when the building caught fire about two in the afternoon. But she was down the street.
“And I started getting texts about a fire on Berkshire street, so I made my way back here and I called my neighbor who lives on the third floor. And he said he saw the explosion in the building across the street that was under construction.”
Her neighbor said he saw a car explode on the block, and got out of the house immediately. Ellsworth's own car was parked on the block, and she said she thought it was gone, too.
“You know, fortunately, everyone in my building that I know of is OK," she said. "I’m hoping there aren’t any other injuries. But the important thing is that we’re OK. Everything else is replaceable, material things. And I know I’ll get through it."
The 10-alarm fire destroyed or damaged at least eight buildings, but just four minor injuries reported. Fire officials said thankfully this happened during the day, since it likely would have been deadly in the middle of the night. The cause of the fire is under investigation. At least one firefighter was seen being taken away on a stretcher, presumably for smoke inhalation.
Firefighters from 17 different Massachusetts communities responded to the 10-alarm fire.