Nine-alarm fire ravages Roxbury warehouse complex

Video by Jamz3269.

A fire that broke out shortly before 10:30 p.m. in an apparently empty warehouse complex at 31 Norfolk Ave. went to nine alarms in just a few minutes. Firefighters were ordered out of and away from the building only a few minutes before it began to collapse around 10:35.

The Boston Fire Department reports more than 160 firefighters - more than half the city's available firefighters - are at the blaze, in a complex that ranged from one to seven stories. That's roughly 21 engines, 7 ladder trucks, a rescue truck and three tower ladder trucks, in addition to several special units. Firefighters will be on scene all night pouring water onto the remains of the building.

Pre-fire Google Street View. Photo of the fire from Top of the Hub in the Prudential building.

View from Northampton and Tremont Streets in the South End, by Neal Gaffey:


The fire department says firefighters from surrounding communities covered some Boston firehouses during the blaze and cleanup: Needham, Everett, Winthrop, Chelsea, Revere, Malden, Newton, Watertown and Dedham.

Smoke from the fire rapidly enveloped the area. John Pouliot tweeted a huge plume of smoke, changing from black to gray, covered Columbus and Tremont; Alex MacDonald tweeted the smoke was visible from I-93 in Somerville.



Free tagging: 

    In the Boston Store:

    This high-quality art print reproduction boasts sharp detail and vivid imagery. Printed on heavy...
    $24.99 - Learn more / Buy
    Celebrate your favorite place to live or visit with the My Place Jumbo Mug. This large 27-ounce...
    $10.12 - Learn more / Buy
    Explore the history of the city of Boston, Massachusetts through this new and exclusive photograph...
    $14.99 - Learn more / Buy


    Fire has spread to the corner

    By on

    Fire has spread to the corner of Norfolk and Gerard Streets into a garbage facility. Streets are blocked off and large plumes of smoke- as well as cinders- are visible from Chesterton St/Mass Ave, across from the fire department HQ.

    Voting is closed. 31

    Cambridge Providing back up??

    I've seen three piece of fire equipment come into the Back Bay from the Mass Ave Bridge. Cambridge might be sending back up to the empty fire stations.

    Voting is closed. 24


    By on

    Northampton and Tremont Streets, next to the Piano Factory. Until next week at least, when I move across the neighborhood.

    Voting is closed. 13

    Videos added

    By on

    I just added the videos I took of the fire to the set. They were taken from my living room and then from the roof deck of 255 Northampton St.

    Voting is closed. 11

    Smoke will be hanging around

    By on

    Channel 7 meteorologist Jeremy Reiner tweets:

    Smoke from Roxbury fire will be trapped by temperature inversion tonight. It will smell like smoke overnight.

    Voting is closed. 11

    read UH post, realized I'm not targeted

    Here on the JP/Mission Hill border, some of the neighbors have meat smokers going 24/7 on the weekend on their back lots.

    After reading this post I feel a little bit better about my neighbors, but really worried that we are drawing on MetroWest fire departments for assistance.

    Voting is closed. 11

    fingers crossed

    and hoping that nobody gets hurt or killed in this!

    Voting is closed. 10

    Great videos, Neal

    The Fenway doesn't look or smell smoky tonight. I guess the breeze is sending it more to the northeast from the fire site, i.e. Southie, South End, downtown.

    Voting is closed. 27

    Walls collapsed and essentially put the fire out

    By on

    I stopped by the scene --one city block of brick warehouse-- and things were pretty much under control by midnight. Some of the walls had collapsed onto the fire, essentially helping to extingusih it, not to minimize the great work of the the BFD. Smoke was still heavy and visible all over the city and surrounding climes.

    In a bit of comic relief, Mayor Menino showed up with Police Commissioner Davis and other bodyguards, and Menino immediately gets a Poland Springs water bottle from a stash intended for the thirsty, exhausted firefighters. Priceless. The merciless crowd was joking about what Menino might be saying to ch. 5's Kimberly Bookman (stunning in person) as she interviewed him. "Ionic" one guessed, while another suggested this was "An Alcatraz around the neck of the city." While police were friendly to Menino, few if any firefighters gave him the time of day, even the ones who weren't busy. Had to wonder if this was blowback from the contract dispute. Credit to Menino for showing up though.

    Indeed a ninth alarm in Boston brings help from FD's in Brookline, Cambridge, Quincy, Needham, Newton, Somerville, Chelsea, Dedham, Winthrop, Cambridge, Everett, Milton, Watertown, Malden, Revere, Waltham and Braintree, at least. It was col to hear Waltham Engine-2 taking calls in the city of Boston. Thankfully, no serious injuries at the fire.

    Voting is closed. 11

    Very dramatic

    Jones' photos remind me that, focused on the task at hand, Boston's firefighters do a damn fine job. I'm particularly impressed with Chief Pettaway's decision to pull his crew out at the appropriate time.

    Voting is closed. 13

    According to the Globe

    He had a plan in place should this building go up - a good chance that it would, because it had been abandoned for decades.

    I think some lessons were learned from that horrific night in Worcester.

    Voting is closed. 14


    By on

    Any word on the folks at M&M Ribs? Their truck parks in the sandlot across the street from this, right? I'm assuming they got away okay; wondering if they'll be displaced from their regular spot.

    Voting is closed. 9