On Friday afternoon, Feb. 21, the Chelsea Fire Department responded to 66 Beacon St. for the report of a building fire. Engine 2, Tower 1 and the Deputy Chief responded from Central Fire Station along with Engine 1 from the Prattville Station and Ladder 2 from the Mill Hill Station.
The companies responding from Central Station reported heavy traffic congestion on Broadway, which delayed their response to the fire. This was the third time on Friday the fire department was delayed trying to get through Bellingham Square while responding to an emergency incident.
As the fire department arrived, the owner of the first floor unit at 66 Beacon St. stated his bathroom exhaust fan was on fire but he believed it was extinguished. The building is a 3-story structure with one condominium unit on each floor.
Crews pulled down the exhaust fan and found fire in the ceiling extending to the floor above through an open pipe chase. Engine 2’s crew advanced a hose line into the first floor while the crew from Ladder 2 searched the upper floors to evacuate the occupants.
A working fire assignment was ordered by Deputy Chief John Quatieri, which brought an addition engine to the fire along with an ALS ambulance unit to stand by.
Additional hose lines were brought into the building to extinguish the fire on floors 2 and 3 as Engine 1 and Engine 3 arrived.
Crews worked for approximately 90 minutes to extinguish the fire and to ensure the fire had not extended further. Ladder 2 positioned their truck across the Beacon Street off ramp in order to access the roof of the building. The ramp was ordered closed which caused major traffic problems on Rt. 1 North over the Tobin Bridge.
“The property owner certainly did the right thing by calling 9-1-1,” stated Deputy Chief Quatieri. “He used baking powder to extinguish the fire and noticed some burning embers around the exhaust fan housing so he call the fire department just to make sure the fire was out. If the owner had not called 9-1-1 when he did, the extent of the fire would have obviously been much worse.”
The department’s Fire investigation Unit determined a faulty electrical connection as the cause of the fire and estimated the damage at $75,000. The fire displaced four residents.