Fire destroys building on Summer Street in Fort Point

Summer Street fire. <a href="http://twitpic.com/dnf9de">Photo by BFD</a>.

Updated, 10 a.m.
A fire reported at 4:29 a.m. at 327-333 Summer St. went to 8 alarms. Firefighters found heavy fire on several floors of the five-story brick building; they were ordered to evacuate around 5:05 a.m., the Boston Fire Department reports.

The five-story former warehouse, the upper floors of which were being converted from artists' studios into office space, brought firefighters and trucks from across the city to combat the flames that at times were blowing out windows.

Fire officials estimate damage at $2 million. Investigators have been unable to get inside the building to try to determine a cause yet. Firefighters have set up a "collapse zone;" Summer Street could be shut the rest of the day.

BFD reports no injuries.

Big fire in South Boston

Photo by BFD.

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Comments

Street opening

I just got the All Clear from my job at 281 Summer that we should be able to get into the building now.

EDIT: 281 Summer is open, but Summer St is not open. I'm glad I biked and avoided the difficulty of getting a car into South Boston today.

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Open to pedestrians??

DGA: Are they allowing pedestrians to walk through the area? Thinking of walking to work (South Boston to Downtown) rather than taking the T and wondering if I can walk straight through on Summer Street. Thank you for the 'on scene' updates!!

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Well

Not a screed, but developers will remove fire breaks during construction, while the artists generally did not change the buildings that much.

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The code only allows the fire

The code only allows the fire walls (not breaks) to be removed if the fire suppression system in the building is brought up to code. The developers are required to bring the building to a much safer standard, the artists...were not.

Oh, come off of it, anon!

First of all, the "real" Southie is long gone, especially since Whitey Bulger is now sequestered behind bars, where he belongs. Secondly, don't get uptight about all those "yupppies" moving into Southie. People have the right to move where they want to move, and they have no intention of taking the Southie away from you.

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More photos

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I worked at a startup there

I worked at a startup there years ago (we had to relocate to Cambridge when they decided to redevelop the building, though it seems like it didn't get started till more recently). Hopefully it can be saved, the old buildings in Fort Point are so beautiful and much more interesting the new generic ones being built in the rest of the waterfront (the ICA being the only exception).

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This happened in Chicago long ago

A wonderful old (only surviving wooden-framed) warehouse downtown had been dedicated to housing artists etc (as sort of a charity) -- but the dim-witted Secretary of State told the foundation that owned the building that it couldn't count as charity to provide in-kind services (such as way below market rate rents). It had to use the building to generate money -- which it could then give away. (Part of the problem was that the building sparked a neighborhood regeneration , with more upscale artisty places growing up nearby -- and making the building much more valuable on paper). So, the building had to be sold, all the artsy tenants had to be booted -- and the renovators moved in. Didn't take long for them to transform the beautiful building into a smoking hulk due to careless in the renovation process (supposedly stripping paint using flame torches).

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