One dead, one seriously injured as abandoned Roxbury house burns to the ground

George Street fire

What's left of the building. Photo by BFD.

Updated with news of the death.

The Boston Fire Department responded at 8:39 a.m. to 94 George St. in Roxbury for what turned into a three-alarm blaze.

Firefighters found one dead person at the scene; the exact cause to be determined in an autopsy. A second person was taken to the hospital with serious burns.

The house collapsed - after firefighters were ordered to stay at least 50 feet away.

Photo by BFD:

George Street fire



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Maybe someone who lives a

Maybe someone who lives a block or two closer can weigh in on this, but my understanding is that this is one of two neglected, badly blighted properties at Magazine and George that neighbors and the city had been trying to address for some time now. I guess the landlord refused to do anything, and there were many people squatting there and causing terrible trouble for the neighbors. I sincerely hope that no one either living nearby or squatting in the building was hurt, and that no neighboring houses were damaged. If it is the property I'm thinking of, hopefully the property owner won't be able to duck responsibility for this one the way he has in the past.

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From Streetview history, it

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From Streetview history, it looks like someone tried to build another house or an addition on the front of the lot. Stopped half way and tore that down to the foundation a few years ago. Then it appears work started to gut rehab this house two years ago and then stopped again.

I wonder if this was a shady real estate investment flipping property which kept falling through.

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Falling through

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Speaking of falling through, firefighters were ordered out early because of holes in the floors, so it definitely sounds like house was in bad shape.

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That area used to be the

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That area used to be the rubbish /trash district. industry not people.

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I didn't know the place was

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I didn't know the place was totally abandoned, because I was walking by there twice a day every day and there were often different women coming in and out. How sad.

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"often different women coming

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"often different women coming in and out"

Sounds like it was a flop house, drug house, or a squat for the homeless.

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that was kind of what I had

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that was kind of what I had assumed. apparently people were squatting.

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One Fatality

The Globe reports one fatality in addition to the seriously injured person.

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11/4/16 fire in Roxbury

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Why was there an "abandoned building" in this neighborhood? If it's "abandoned," doesn't that mean property taxes haven't been paid? water/sewer fees haven't been paid? How is it BPDA (the "new & improved" BRA) hadn't acquired this property? Why wasn't it renovated as affordable housing? Isn't that the point of "redevelopment?" Eliminating "blighted properties?"

Help me understand.

I've been paying property taxes 30+ years to support functioning city government. An abandoned building obviously doesn't benefit the neighborhood. WHY wasn't this abandoned property re-presented to the neighborhood as city-owned habitable affordable property?

Can someone help me understand?

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My grandparents owned that

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My grandparents owned that house at 94 George St for over 40 years. The home once had been owned by a well to do family so the house was filled with mahogany doors, trim and the banisters going upstairs. I remember as a child sliding down those banisters. :)

My grandparents had come to this country as teenagers and met, married and eventually bought his house. My grandparents were from Russia and the Ukraine. Being Russian Orthodox holidays were a very huge event especially Easter,. People of all different nationalities came on Easter Sunday and it was quite a celebration!

In front of the house there was a fence by the street and lilac bushes lined the fence. There were rose bushes, tulips, tiger lilies, and flowers of which I do not even know the names of but they filled the front yard. As you walked to the back of the house you would walk under the grapevines, grandpa had green grapes as well as purple grapes from which he made wine. As you got to the back of the house there was a huge mulberry tree. I remember the stains they made on my clothes as a child ( my mom was never happy about that) but they were great to eat. Further to the other side of the house were peach trees and a huge garden with tomatoes, cukes, lettuce, beans, squash, carrots, and rubbarb. He also grew horse radish which was stronger than anything you could ever buy.

I have so many wonderful memories of that house and it was always filled with love and laughter to all who came to visit. If you came to the house you always left with fresh veggies and a bouquet of flowers from the garden.

My grandfather worked hard to maintain that house painting, wallpapering and fixing things that just needed fixing. Being people who lived through the depression my grandfather had the basement filled with all kinds of things to fix just about anything. If you needed something he was the man to call.

I can tell you it was the most gorgeous house on the street back in the day. The house may be gone but my memories certainly are not. To all who never got to see this house in all its glory you really missed out because it was gorgeous.

If you walked by during Christmas you could see red bells hanging from the front of the house that blinked to the Christmas music my grandfather had playing. It was magical !!

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