Fire erupts in six-story residential building under construction near Ashmont T stop

Treadmark building on fire

Fire from the roof. Photo by BFD.

UPDATE, 6:50 p.m. Heavy fire still burning on top floor and roof in the mainly wooden building.

A fire reported around 2:30 p.m. in the Treadmark condo and apartment building that had been nearing completion at 1971-1977 Dorchester Ave., went to six alarms, the Boston Fire Department reports.

The department reports no injuries.

The department reports the fire-alarm system for the building had been set for tomorrow - and that residents were scheduled to move in July 15. Now, the department says, inspectors may not be able to get in until Friday afternoon to try to determine the fire's cause.

The building, rising on the site of the old Ashmont Tire, was being built with 52 affordable apartments and 32 condos.

Paul Nutting watched the firefighters at work:

Fire on Dorchester Avenue



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By on

Am I the only one that thinks the current trend toward building large buildings like this out of wood is completely idiotic? Yeah sure it saves a few bucks... then a fire starts and this is what happens.

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Construction phase is always a fire risk

Wood framing or metal, buildings that are under construction have a lot of ignition sources and firebreaks are not complete. After completion, the materials used in finish construction are what burns first, and firebreaks slow progress.

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But in this case, the A/C units wouldn't have collapsed through the roof, and the fire chef has said that due to the light weight wood construction, the entire thing is going to collapse. Sprinkler systems/etc certainly mitigate risks (and they were not active yet in this case), but I don't think you deny this would be very different if it was poured in place concrete (or even steal).

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Swirly now an expert on construction and fire science?

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ELaw is correct. In speaking with a BFD Captain (friend) on the scene, he said (off the record) that the wood construction was a nightmare. He believed it started with a malfunctioning generator on the top floor. A bystander told me that she believed it was another 9/11 attack by airplanes and that the Ch. 5 news copter would soon begin dropping water. I'm glad that nobody was hurt but it will be interesting if they salvage the building with the fire, smoke and water damage. It might have to come down.

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I hate to defend the Swirl, but in this case she is on point. Buildings under construction or during major renovation are at a MUCH higher risk of devastating fire. Lots of different reasons for ignition but as she stated the building's core is not yet protected from the protective elements that retard and suppress minor fires. Small becomes large quickly.

She should stick to these issues rather than social policy.

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Do you know what risk assessment is?

It is when you take facts and science and information and determine the likelihood of an adverse event, adverse impact, etc.

When I took risk assessment as part of my graduate program (from a man who would later chair the Chemical Accident Safety Board), the case studies were not limited to environmental health, as the methodology transcends subject matter.

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