Neighbors trapped inside by heavy smoke from Back Bay fire - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Neighbors trapped inside by heavy smoke from Back Bay fire

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Many Boston residents who live in the area of Wednesday’s 9-alarm fire on Beacon Street were unable to get home, others were trapped inside as black smoke made it difficult to breathe.

Annie Grant was in her family’s condo across the street from the fire with her sister when emergency responders arrived.

“All the sudden my sister ran upstairs and was like oh my god, look outside. And there was just billows, there was just so much smoke, just like everywhere,” Grant said.

Grant said they desperately wanted to help but as soon as they got outside, Boston Police were scrambling to get them back inside. She said the scene was horrifying and surreal.

“There was one point where we did go outside, trying to figure out what was going on. And the police officer told us to please go back inside. And when we came back in there were flames on the roof. It was so scary and sad,” she said.

The smoke was so thick the sisters worried if they should seek shelter somewhere else.

“I've never seen anything like that in my entire life. My sister and I were trying to decide whether it was safe to stay here, if we should evacuate,” Grant said.

Grant said they decided to stay inside for safety, but they kept an eye toward the fire at all times in case their home was in danger’s path.

"It was horrible, like one of those moments where you kind of freeze, like what do I do…It was really scary and really sad, and it was really a tragedy," Grant said.

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