Aftermath of the East Boston fire

Aftermath of the casket-company fire in East Boston

Boston firefighters remained at what was left of the New England Casket Co. this morning, continuing to hit hot spots with water to prevent any flareups of the nine-alarm fire that broke out around 3 p.m. yesterday, sending fire out windows and the roof well into the evening.

Investigators are now trying to determine the cause of the fire, which broke out on the roof and then spread throughout the building.

Photo by BFD:

Fire aftermath

All the water poured onto the building left the Blue Line flooded this morning. The MBTA reports it will be busing between Airport and Wonderland "until further notice."

Photo by MBTA:

Fire aftermath on the Blue Line

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Comments

Cremation

Old, dry, oiled timbers and floors plus no chance for sprinkler suppression (on the roof) ...

I hope the rains helped a bit. Anyone know how many people worked there?

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Voting closed 12

N.E. Casket Co.

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I believe around 80 people were employed there. Wood workers, textiles workers, office staff - many local. Although a local, family-owned business I'll be surprised if they choose to rebuild -- very expensive and the temptation to cash out in the current building boom has to be pretty huge. Bummer for all involved - but happily no lives lost.

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Voting closed 22

Might depend on what insurance they have

If they have continuation or relocation, etc.

Probably faster to just relocate to some place like Worcester or Leominster where housing is relatively cheap.

This is the sort of business that has been moving into less congested areas with cheaper real estate anyway - a trend for at least the past 20 years in high land value areas.

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Voting closed 8

doesn't sound like it will be coming back.....

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....the owner is in his late 80's. He is very concerned about the employees well being, insurance and pay, Apparently he will be meeting with the City next week so they can assist.

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Voting closed 12

Hate to be a Debbie Downer

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But the writing is on the wall. This is the City’s opportunity to get rid of more blue collar working man’s jobs and replace this building with multi unit development. And of course no parking because it’s “near” public transportation.

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Voting closed 5

So much water

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I wonder if any taps ran slowly in Eastie last night.

Considering the Blue Line seems to handle heavy rainstorms, the amount of water poured on the fire must have been intense. I am surprised it hasn't been able to drain off, but this might be a good stress test for the T to find where it needs to add drainage … if anyone is paying attention.

Also, if this had happened during one of our cold snaps earlier this winter we might not have Blue Line service until "early spring", or whenever it is the Orange Line cars start running (so, July?).

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Voting closed 5

water pressure

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One of the BFD's statements mentioned the lack of water pressure in the area as it is the "end of the line" in East Boston. They wisely pulled fire fighters out of the building fearing collapse and had to hit it from above - but water pressure was an issue. BWSC had to come in to help out. The Mayor mentioned that they are going to look into this as a problem to be fixed.

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Voting closed 11

When BWSC helps out

do they provide another source of water pressure?

Fires like this are scary for sure but the forensic science involved in firefighting is really fascinating.

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Voting closed 6

Yes

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One of the newspaper articles -- I forget it it was Globe or Herald -- quoted a resident as saying water pressure was low in his shower.

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Voting closed 6

The Tracking Server...

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The MBTA's Tracking Server, which provides all the ETAs on the entire system (Blue, Orange, Red, Green and Buses), was also down today. Does anyone know if that downtime was also related to the fire? The MBTA hasn't answered my questions satisfactorily on that.

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Voting closed 4