Treadmark Condo and Apartment Building Fire: Dorchester Ave. remains closed Thursday morning from Peabody Square to Gallivan Blvd. after the massive fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at the $45 million dollar-Treadmark Building still under construction.
Firefighters worked through the night to knock down the fire and battle hot spots. “It was a very difficult fire to fight,” said Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn. The fire was visible from across the city and sent smoke billowing across the neighborhood. The smoke was so thick that neighbors were asked to close their windows and stay inside.
The Treadmark Building comprises a total of 83 units of mixed-income housing, 51 of them affordable rental units and 32 homeownership condominiums. The building also includes 5,000 square feet of ground floor retail. American Provisions, a specialty food store that has become a popular South Boston destination was slated to be the development’s anchor commercial tenant.
There were 32 condos on the top two floors of the building which were already sold and nearly all the apartments on the lower floors were rented out as well as a business set to move in on the first floor. The building was almost complete and planned to be opened on July 12, and the first tenants were scheduled to move in on the 15th.
The fire was first reported at 2:37 p.m when a construction worker noticed smoke coming out of the top floor. More than 125 firefighters, police, and EMTs raced to the scene. Crews were forced to fight the fire from the outside because it was too dangerous to enter the building. Dorchester Ave. turned white when crews brought in foam to get the fire under control and proceeded to load up the top floor with foam to bring the temperatures down and smother the fire.
The building commissioner said the building was fully up to code and the fire alarm system was actually scheduled to be tested Thursday (today). Part of the investigation will be determining whether the sprinklers malfunctioned or had been turned off. And although it’s still too early to determine the exact cause of the fire, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says this incident can serve as a learning experience for how firefighters battle flames at similar structures in the city. “Very grateful that no one got hurt, that no one was living here at this moment in time,” said Walsh.
Officials say the fire has caused millions of dollars worth of fire and water damage to the top floor of the building. Developer Jim Keefe of Trinity Financial said in a statement, “We care deeply about the Ashmont neighborhood and are heartbroken. The most important thing is that no one was seriously hurt. …. The Boston Fire Department is working tirelessly and we are so grateful for their efforts. We are fully committed to making sure this project gets rebuilt as quickly as possible.”
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