8 Alarms

A little after noon Saturday, I got a call from the Herald to check out what was, at the time, a four-alarm fire in downtown Marlboro. Within a few minutes, the fire got much worse, hitting six alarms by the time I got there. Sure enough, I could see smoke billowing across the entire downtown area, coming from an apartment building with a diner and hair salon on the first floor.

I’ve never photographed anything higher than five alarms, and that includes some pretty serious fires back in Tampa. I was pretty surprised when it hit eight alarms by the time I made my first frame on the scene. It didn’t look a whole lot worse than anything else I’d ever seen, but my guess it was due to the density of the buildings in the downtown area.

According to Marlboro Fire Chief Rick Plummer, the fire started on the second floor of this old, wood-framed building and spread very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that this thing ended up imploding about an hour after I arrived. Here’s a sequence of photos of that, as well as some shots of the firefighters from multiple towns working the scene.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Firefighters from multiple agencies, including Northborough, left, and Hudson, center, assist their Marlborough colleagues with an 8-alarm fire at 173 Main St. in Marlborough on June 26, 2010. The fire started from unknown causes on the second floor of the old, wood-framed building and spread quickly, Marlborough Fire Chief Rick Plummer said. The building experienced multiple collapses, beginning with the roof and eventually imploded, but no injuries were reported and all firefighters were accounted for, Plummer said.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Marlborough, Northborough and Hudson firefighters tend to the building at 173 Main St. in Marlborough as it implodes from damage due to an 8-alarm fire on June 26, 2010.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Marlborough firefighters tend to the building at 173 Main St. in Marlborough after it imploded from damage due to an 8-alarm fire on June 26, 2010.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Hudson firefighters assist their Marlborough colleagues with an 8-alarm fire at 173 Main St. in Marlborough on June 26, 2010.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Northborough firefighters, top, assist their Marlborough colleagues, below, with an 8-alarm fire at 173 Main St. in Marlborough on June 26, 2010.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Hudson firefighters assist their Marlborough colleagues with an 8-alarm fire at 173 Main St. in Marlborough on June 26, 2010.

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