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Two-alarm fire in MRI building forces partial evacuation at Jamaica Plain VA Hospital, but is doused

Firefighter checks under MRI structure at VA Hospital

Firefighter checks under MRI outbuilding. Photo by BFD.

A fire possibly caused by welding outside the rear of the VA Hospital, 150 South Huntington Ave. in Jamaica Plain, spread to an MRI room around 10 a.m.

Hospital employees shut down the MRI system, in a one-story attachment to the hospital, and firefighters evacuated the hospital in that area. The fire was knocked down in about 20 minutes.

The Boston Fire Department reports no injuries. The department adds the hospital did "a great job" evacuating people, but one veteran who was in the hospital at the time reports things could have gone a lot better:

We smelled smoke but didn’t think it was anything serious due to construction going on and no fire alarms were sounded. I was in a meeting with other veterans at the time and other staff members and no one had a clue what was happening. This could’ve been a devastating fire that resulted in the loss of life.

Once the meeting was over we left and exited the building only to find out that indeed a fire was taking place as we could see smoke. VA police were in a pure panic running around and yelling instead of raising an alarm and making sure the building was properly evacuated. They were more focused on yelling at people outside instead of securing the building.

Indeed it was the MRI room that the fire took place, and from what I could see there was welding going on 3 feet from the side of the building. It appears a spark traveled under the raised structure and started the fire. They were welding on the grass and I'm guessing that’s what caused it to ignite. They were welding new pipe for a new boiler system that’s being installed. Also I saw workers running around with fire extinguishers and not one pulled the fire alarm.



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of the tenth anniversary of the fire at 298 Beacon St. that was started by welders and killed two of Boston's bravest. R.I.P. Lt. Kennedy and FF Walsh.