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.
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.