Tag Archives: firefighters

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.

Mulch on Fire

My apologies to anyone who had to drive south on I-95 coming back from New Hampshire Sunday afternoon. In case you were wondering what caused that backup, it was a huge burning pile of mulch in Peabody, just north of the I-95, Rt. 128 interchange. There were threats of to a tanker, and there had already been one explosion, so the State Police closed down Exit 45 due to the proximity of the mulch yard to the interstate.

Nothing particularly exciting from me on this one — The best images came much earlier before they cut down access, but such is the reality when you’re hustling to Peabody from Boston.

6.20.2010 — PEABODY, Mass. — A mulch fire at the J.D. Raymond Co. in Peabody sent smoke onto I-95, shutting down exit 45 southbound on June 20, 2010.


6.20.2010 — PEABODY, Mass. — A mulch fire at the J.D. Raymond Co. in Peabody sent smoke onto I-95, shutting down exit 45 southbound and backing up traffic a considerable distance on June 20, 2010.


6.20.2010 — PEABODY, Mass. — A large pile of mulch burns at the J.D. Raymond Co. in Peabody on June 20, 2010. The smoke from the fire shut down exit 45 on I-95 southbound. Firefighters were initially worried about an oil tank on site and fire's proximity to I-95, which was 20 yards away from the its edge.


6.20.2010 — PEABODY, Mass. — A large pile of mulch burns at the J.D. Raymond Co. in Peabody on June 20, 2010. The smoke from the fire shut down exit 45 on I-95 southbound. Firefighters were initially worried about an oil tank on site and fire's proximity to I-95, which was 20 yards away from the its edge.

Grease Balls of Fire

Heard a call on the scanner last night about a really smokey fire at a restaurant in Charlestown. It was a one-alarm fire when I took off, relatively minor, but the smoke was what made me get in the car. I was right about it being minor — it was pretty much out by the time I got there about 10-15 minutes after the call, though it had been upgraded to a two-alarm very briefly.

Turned out it was a really bad grease fire in one of the kitchen vents on the side of the building. Unfortunately for the restaurant, the process of putting out the fire in the vents resulted in the kitchen getting flooded out. A big mess for a really inconveniently located grease fire.

5.27.2010 — BOSTON — Firefighters hose down a kitchen vent that caught fire at Olives restaurant, 10 City Square in Charlestown, on May 27, 2010. The two-alarm fire caused heavy smoke and was likely caused by a grease backup in the air vent, Boston Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

5.27.2010 — BOSTON — Firefighters on a neighboring balcony take a closer look at a kitchen vent that caught fire at Olives restaurant, 10 City Square in Charlestown, on May 27, 2010.

5.27.2010 — BOSTON — A firefighter enters Olives restaurant, 10 City Square in Charlestown, to check on the status of a fire on May 27, 2010.

5.27.2010 — BOSTON — Cooks from Olives restaurant, 10 City Square in Charlestown, wait outside after their restaurant was evacuated due to a fire on May 27, 2010.

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