Firefighters battled 9-alarm fire in Central Square in Cambridge - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Officials investigating 9-alarm fire in Cambridge

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WHDH) - Firefighters battled a nine-alarm fire that spread to three houses in Cambridge Sunday morning.

Police say there are no reports of any injuries the blaze at 159 Allston St. in the Central Square area.

"No injuries to civilians, no significant injuries to fire personnel. Couple of bumps and bruises," said Asst. Chief Gerry Mahoney of the Cambridge Fire Department.
  
According to Cambridge officials, the fire started in a vacant three-story apartment building. Nearby homes are very close together, which helped to spread the flames. The fire quickly rose to nine alarms.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at 40 Granite St. for the displaced residents. 11 residents have been allowed to return back home, but 29 have been displaced.

"I see it on the news all the time and I see neighbors crying and I never know what's going to hit home," said Winsome Barnes, who escaped from the fire. "It's heartbreaking but we're going to be okay."

All 40 people in the two occupied buildings got out thanks to Cliff Anderson, who went back into the burning building to check on his neighbors.

"I rang all their doorbells.. I wasn't getting a response from my upstairs neighbor, as soon as I was going up the stairs, I saw them coming down," Anderson said.

Richard Kennedy's mother lived in the home for 50 years and was luckily not home at the time of the fire.

"I don't know what to say. My family lost everything," Kennedy said.

Responders from the Boston, Chelsea and Brookline fire departments helped put out the blaze.

Investigators are trying to determine how the fire started in a vacant building. The fire chief said that it appears the fire started on the outside.
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