A large, 4-alarm fire badly burned two multifamily homes in Worcester and spread to a third before crews could contain it.

The fire broke out at around 12:45 p.m. Firefighters were ordered to evacuate the original fire building at 5 Forbes St. around 1 p.m. after threat of a possible collapse and have re-entered and exited twice since them.

After a flurry of radio traffic, the city’s South End fire chief took command and ordered a roll call of all firefighters. Shortly after that, the on-duty deputy fire chief took command and ordered a third alarm response.

The fire quickly spread to the second building. Fire chiefs directed firefighters at each, in an attempt to contain the blaze. Around 1:15 p.m., the fire spread to a third building, a block away, on Orne Street, leading the chief to strike the fourth alarm. That fire was quickly contained and considered minor.

Around 1:20, the rear portion of the roof collapsed in the original fire building, and a ladder on a fire truck began to catch fire from the heat.

Heavy wind conditions appear to have helped the fire spread.

There were no reports of injuries.

ScanNewEngland.net reports the original fire was in a 3-story wood frame building.

From WFXT-TV news helicopter video, it looks like the fire was in a dense cluster of homes. There appear to be several large homes and other buildings huddled close together.

A fire crew from neighboring Auburn covered parts of Worcester for other emergency calls.

The fire burned about a half mile north of UMass Memorial Medical Center, and about two blocks east of I-290.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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