FITCHBURG — Firefighters from Fitchburg and surrounding cities and towns battled a massive blaze that broke out at a condominium complex at Beekman St. on Sunday night.
Fitchburg Fire Capt. Dante Suarez said two people were stuck in the building when crews arrived at the scene of the three-alarm fire shortly before p.m.
One person was able to escape the structure on their own, while another was rescued from the third floor of the building by ladder, Suarez said.
A fire commander looks up toward flames emerging from the roof of a building devastated by a -alarm fire on Beekman Street in Fitchburg Sunday night. Scott LaPradeSentinel & Enterprise
The fire chief added that crews had issues with the water supply early on during the blaze, but had rebounded.
“The fire has been contained as of p.m., but it reached the cockloft below the roof and is stubborn,” Suarez said as firefighters continued to battle the flames.
The fire broke out at the former Bartley Nolan School, located near the corner of Beekman and Salem streets.
The blaze forced firefighters to respond from several surrounding communities, including Ashby, Leominster and Lunenburg.
The fire also forced surrounding streets to be blocked off from traffic for the night.
A Beekman Steet resident, who asked not to be identified, said he heard an explosion from within the building before the flames became visible.
Firefighters get water on a -alarm fire in a condo complex on Beekman Street in Fitchburg on Sunday. Scott LaPradeSentinel & Enterprise
Fire and rescue crews continued to work at the volatile scene dousing flames past p.m. as the fire continued to burn on the top floor and roof of the building.
Firefighters, who were unable to enter the building to address the flames, used deck guns and ladder pipes to fight the flames.
A fire official said he expected crews would be battling the blaze for several hours.
Another official confirmed firefighters had successfully rescued several pets — including three dogs — from the building.
Flames break through the roof of a condo complex on Beekman Street in Fitchburg on Sunday. Nick MallardSentinel & Enterprise
A witness said he saw multiple people taken from the scene by ambulance. The witness added he did not see anyone suffer serious injuries.
People from the neighborhood surrounding the Beekman Street fire gathered at the scene to witness the flames, and photograph and record the incident.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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