Firefighters in Lynn spent several hours putting out a fire that began in an abandoned building and spread to nearby trees and U-Haul trucks.
The 2-alarm blaze was near the intersection of the Lynnway and Commercial Street.
The Lynn Fire Chief said one homeless woman who was believed to be living inside the building had to be carried out with a leg injury. A firefighter who took a blow to the head was also being treated for smoke-related injuries.
Witnesses said they heard what sounded like gunshots coming from inside the building, but it turned out to be spray cans that were inside the building.
“There’s a noticeable amount aerosol cans so those were becoming missiles and they were popping for the first hour,” Lynn Fire Chief James McDonald said.
Witnesses say they could see the smoke and flames and were worried about their cars in a nearby parking lot.
“It was a lot of black smoke. That was what actually caught my eye from the office. The flames were huge. I came out to see if I needed to move my car but it was safe. The guys who were parked against the fence needed to move their cars,” Robert Mayoral said.
Crews knocked down one wall of the abandoned building as the flames subsided to ensure it did not fall on anyone.
“We put red X on a building that’s unsafe. This building had red Xs on it which means do not enter for firefighting purposes,” McDonald said.
Neighboring business owners say the building has been empty for more than a decade and several homeless people recently began living there.
The Lynnway had to be shut down during the blaze so firefighters could run a hose to the fire hydrant on the other side of the road.
Lynn fire officials said that crews are in the process of demolishing the building, along with doing final searches, as they complete their investigation.