Careless Disposal of Smoking Material Probable Cause of Boston Fire

Seven people, including five firefighters, experienced minor injuries from the 9-alarm fire in Boston's Allston section

Fire investigators in Boston, Massachusetts, have determined the most probable cause of a 9-alarm blaze to be the careless disposal of smoking material in a rear interior stairwell. 

The fire tore through a dead-end street in Boston's Allston neighborhood on Sept. 3, devouring back porches, injuring seven people and sending two firefighters to the hospital.

The Boston Fire Department battled the flames and is concerned the building at 12-16 Harvard Terrace may collapse. Crews have established safety zones and have been ordered off of the roof and out of the building.

Five firefighters were hurt working to extinguish the blaze. Two of them were transported to local hospitals by Boston EMS, one for smoke inhalation and one with a shoulder injury.

Two bystanders were also hurt. They were treated and transported to local hospitals with minor injuries by Boston EMS.

The call came in at 5:45 p.m. for a blaze at 16 Harvard Terrace, a three-story, brick apartment building, but fire officials said the flames likely started on the first floor of 12 Harvard Terrace.

Fifty-four people have been displaced as a result of the fire, officials said. According to the Red Cross, a reception center for those displaced will be set up at the Jackson Mann School in Allston.

Boston Fire is asking drivers and pedestrians stay away from Brighton Avenue to Linden Street, Harvard Avenue, and Cambridge Street. They say to expect a grid lock on Cambridge Street, and from Lincoln to Union Square.

This was the first 9-alarm fire in Boston since the Back Bay fire in late March that killed two Boston firefighters.

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