Fire burns historic Boston racetrack building as firefighters struggle to get water
Crews with the Boston Fire Department and nearby departments used thousands of feet of hoses to pump water to the Suffolk Downs scene
BOSTON — A heavy fire burned at Boston’s historic Suffolk Downs horse racing track Monday night, blazing through part of the facility’s main building just a week after a groundbreaking ceremony for a redevelopment of the property.
With a sufficient water supply lacking in the area, fire crews used thousands of feet of hoses to pump enough water to the burning grandstand building to extinguish the flames, the Boston Fire Department said.
The fire on the grandstand’s roof had progressed to a four-alarm blaze by 11 p.m., with smoke billowing from the building’s windows, the video posted to the department’s social media pages showed.
A 5th alarm has been ordered,companies are relay pumping to supply water to the fire , because of the limited water supply in the area. pic.twitter.com/QDcSv89u6c— Boston Fire Dept. (@BostonFire) May 31, 2022
A fifth alarm was ordered less than 15 minutes later. With limited water in the area, fire officials said they began relay pumping water.
“We had a very difficult time with water,” Boston Fire Commissioner Jack Demspey told WCVB. “It’s very limited here. We had a lot of help to get lines run thousands of feet.”
Less than a week prior, a groundbreaking was held at the site, which is expected to house 10,000 apartments and condos alongside commercial buildings, the network said.
All members have been ordered off of the roof.companies are using the Tower and multiple Ladder pipes to attack the fire from above. pic.twitter.com/44P6VE6zeP— Boston Fire Dept. (@BostonFire) May 31, 2022
On Monday night, as the fire burnt through the roof of the building around 11:30 p.m., firefighters deployed a drone to spot flames from above.
The flames burned for several hours into Tuesday morning. Around 1:15 a.m., the fire department said firefighters were packing up the thousands of feet of hoses used to pump water into the areas.
They have deployed the Departments Drone, these are pictures showing the fire and the thermal imaging of the fire from above. pic.twitter.com/rSOpJOklZw— Boston Fire Dept. (@BostonFire) May 31, 2022
Firefighters were able to quickly put out the flames once they established a steady supply of water, WCVB reported.
Crews remained at the facility overnight to monitor for hot spots.
Thank you to our Mutual Aid partners that worked the Fire at Suffolk Downs @ChelseaFire_MA , & provided coverage @CambridgeMAFire , @needhamfire @NewtonFireDept Somerville Fire, Quincy Fire, @Brooklinefire @ChelseaFire_MA pic.twitter.com/uIY04mPiNl— Boston Fire Dept. (@BostonFire) May 31, 2022
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