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2 Firefighters Killed, 18 Hurt in 9-Alarm Back Bay Fire

Reports crews were trapped in basement.

The scene of a fire on Beacon Street Wednesday afternoon. Credit: Boston Fire Department
The scene of a fire on Beacon Street Wednesday afternoon. Credit: Boston Fire Department
By Jason Claffey, Liz Taurasi and Matt Perkins

Two firefighters were killed and at least 18 people were injured in a huge blaze in Back Bay Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters descended on 298 Beacon St. at about 2:30 p.m. for a report of heavy fire in the basement of a four-story brick brownstone. Firefighters struck a ninth alarm at about 3:15 p.m.

Some firefighters were trapped in the basement of the burning building and a mayday call was made. CPR was reportedly performed on one firefighter. At least five firefighters were injured.

Powerful winds of up to 50 mph stoked the blaze.

Officials said Wednesday night it could be several hours before the fire is completely extinguished. 

Boston Fire is expected to address the media at 8 p.m. Wednesday night. 

Listen to the Boston Fire Department's live radio feed

View photos of the blaze

UPDATES:

7:58 p.m. Officials have scheduled a news conference for 8 p.m. It will feature Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston firefighters.

7:54 p.m. Six of the 18 people injured were police officers, according to NECN.

7:30 p.m. The flag has been lowered to half staff at Engine 33 in Back Bay

7:12 p.m. Another part of the building collapsed.

7:09 p.m. Residents displaced by the fire can go to the Copley Library Boston room for services and support, according to city officials.

6:56 p.m. Fire crews were ordered to shut down all water lines as they continue to bring the blaze under control.

6:40 p.m. The Boston Fire Department said it will brief the media "no sooner" than 8 p.m. tonight.

6 p.m. Two firefighters were killed in the blaze, according to CBS Boston.

5:50 p.m. - Storrow Drive east and west is now opened to limited traffic. Restricted only westbound from Leverett Circle per the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. 

5:35 p.m. Boston EMS now reports 18 people have been hospitalized.

5:34 p.m. WCVB.com is reporting one firefighter remains unaccounted for. 

5:31 p.m. State Police said traffic in Back Bay will be slowed for "hours." They advised people attending tonight's Boston Celtics game to plan ahead.

5:20 p.m. Storrow Drive has been reopened.

5:05 p.m. Boston EMS now reports 17 people have been hospitalized.

5:03 p.m. A structural engineer has arrived at the scene.

4:51 p.m. The fire has died down, a firefighter said. Firefighters have stopped using water for fear of weighing down the building and causing further collapse. Smoke is still visible and parts of the building are still "glowing" with fire.

4:47 p.m. Boston EMS reports 10 patients have been hospitalized.

4:42 p.m. Storrow Drive remains closed.

4:30 p.m. More than 150 firefighters are reportedly battling the blaze.

4:28 p.m. A criminal probe is being launching into the blaze, according to Adam Harding of 7News.

4:26 p.m. "Heavy fire" reported on the roof, which is made of rubber, a firefighter said. Water lines still "ineffective" on the flames.

4:25 p.m. One firefighter needed CPR, according to CBS Boston.

4:25 p.m. "There was a loud bang ... on the fourth floor," a firefighter said, according to Boston Fire Department communications.

4:24 p.m. A firefighter said another part of the building "sounded like a collapse."

4:19 p.m. A firefighter said some of the lines are "ineffective" at battling the flames.

4:18 p.m. A bystander posted this YouTube video of the blaze.

4:15 p.m. All firefighters have been accounted for, according to Boston Fire Department communications.

4:08 p.m. Part of the building has collapsed.

4:07 p.m. "Heavy fire" is still engulfing the building.

4:06 p.m. Crews are 80 feet away from the designated collapse zones.

4:03 p.m. The Weather Channel says wind gusts in the area are reaching 50 mph, potentially stoking the blaze.

3:58 p.m. "Collapse zones" have been set up in the rear of the building, according to Boston Fire Department communications.

3:57 p.m. At least 10 people were injured, according to NECN

3:50 p.m. At least five firefighters were injured, according to Boston.com.

3:45 p.m. Storrow Drive has been closed down at Kenmore. All All eastbound Storrow Drive traffic is being diverted at the Kenmore exit.

3:43 p.m. Reports that injured firefighters have been transported to Brigham and Women's Hospital. 

3:40 p.m. Fire is now through the roof of the building.

3:30 pm. Two patients have been transported to a nearby hospital.

3:27 p.m. Heavy fire continues to burn.

3:22 p.m. Reports one firefighter in the missing crew has been found and pulled from the building. EMS is on scene. 

3:15 p.m. Firefighters ordered off the roof and to not go into the building. 

3:10 p.m. All companies ordered out of the building

Patch will continue to update this story with the latest information. 
Chrissy March 26, 2014 at 07:17 PM
From the daughter of a 1973 LODD on Long Island, New York, my sincerest and most heart-felt condolences to the families of these brave firefighters, and to their brothers in arms.
Chrissy March 26, 2014 at 07:19 PM
and to those injured, a speedy recovery
doug March 26, 2014 at 10:52 PM
Bless them all and all of their families. Our thoughts and wishes are for them and their healing.
Eric S March 28, 2014 at 08:31 AM
America mourns with you. Our fellow citizens came to our aid and died for their effort to keep the rest of us safer. Heaven holds a special place for these people. And certainly our hearts do.

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