News Details

Firefighters use drone to direct guns, multiple injuries as eight-alarm fire burns

18 Dec 2021

Amy Sokolow

Boston Herald


An eight-alarm blaze broke out in the early morning hours Friday, drawing over 150 firefighters to tame the flames and canceling school for some Brookline students.

Brian Alkins, the Boston Fire Department’s chief information officer, said that the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The call first came in at about 4:30 a.m., and firefighters who arrived on the scene encountered “heavy winds and thick black smoke,” he said.

“The wind actually fueled the fire,” he said. “Once the wind gets in, it pushes the fire throughout the building, and since it was a smoky building, we couldn’t see.” For the firefighters’ safety, they were prematurely evacuated from the building. Five hours after the first call came in, they were still battling the blaze.

“Since it’s such a large building, we can’t get into the inside,” he said. “We’re doing exterior firefighting which makes it a little bit more difficult to reach the seat of the fire.” He added that two firefighters sustained minor injuries. Over 150 Boston firefighters showed up, as well as several from Brookline.

He did not know whether there were occupants inside the building at the time, nor whether any residents lived in the building, though he confirmed that it’s a commercial building. He did not think the team would determine the cause of the fire by Friday.

Three middle school girls walking near 185 Corey Road said they were surprised to learn class was called off at the Driscoll School in neighboring Brookline due to the thick smoke in the air, which was still visible hours later as firefighters continued to spray water onto the large building.

One of the students, Alexa, said she takes piano lessons inside the building, home to a music school, a recording studio, a dance studio and a home health care company.

“It’s definitely not like, the newest building, but I wouldn’t expect it to catch fire,” she said of the large wood structure. “I was shocked because my mom was like, ‘Oh, it’s a place near Brighton near your school,'” she said, realizing that the building was her piano studio. “It was kind of surprising.”

Another one of the girls said the water turned brown in her house, and all three said their houses smelled like smoke. One of them, Virginia, likened the smell to bacon.

The third student, Eva, said she woke up to what she thought was fog, but was “so happy” to learn later that school was canceled, giving the girls a three-day weekend before the holiday break.


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