Dispatch Just Elevated to Seven Alarms
Update, 2:30 pm: The fire is out and investigations are underway. More information and additional videos posted. Scroll down.
A MAJOR FIRE IS BURNING THIS MORNING IN LEOMINSTER, Massachusetts, as dozens of fire companies from the north-central portion of the state are on the scene working to contain it to a city block.
Matthew Gregoire photo
Telegram & Gazette / Lanava
The fire that began in and has destroyed the old Columbia Hotel was discovered at 10:15 pm Eastern Saturday night. The 3-story brick building has occupied apartments on the top two floors and commercial establishments on the ground level.
Early on, around 11 pm a portion of the rear wall collapsed injuring two firefighters, neither seriously, from the debris.
Professional FF's of Mass. photo
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has posted some early raw video:
This is still a working fire and no official information has been made available yet. Firegeezer will be updating this story, so check back later for more.
Thanks to Rob Ladd for assistance.
* * *
Update, 2:30 pm:
The fire was marked out at 1 pm, but units will be on the scene for several more hours working the hot spots, etc.
The residence hotel had 28 apartments, most of them occupied, and the first alarm companies were dedicated to the large rescue and evacuation problem awaiting them. Everybody was evacuated safely.
The hotel is fully sprinklered, according to reports, but the fire began in the unprotected attic space where it rapidly gained headway and ran the structure. "It was a massive five-alarm fire with special calls put out," fire Lt. Roger LaPointe told the Sentinel & Enterprise. "We basically went through the entire-nine alarm card with everyone who could respond coming in to help."
The two firefighters that were slightly injured were in the bucket of a tower-ladder and were peppered when the back wall collapsed.
Telegram & Gazette
The top floor of the entire building was burned off and the full structure will have to be demolished.
NECN has filed this later video report from the scene:
An extensive raw video posted by georgef551:
Google Street View image of the Columbia Hotel in Leominster:
Google Satellite View of the fire building:
* * * * *
Firegeezer notes and comments:
- Night fire in city downtown
- Building covers nearly a city block
- Apartments occupied
- Fire showing on arrival
- All residents evacuated safely
- Fire contained to building of origin
- Only two minor injuries
I'd say those chief officers and their firefighters did a pretty nice job. Wouldn't you agree?
* * * * * * *