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Worker’s cig lit Wharf blaze

A late-working employee on a cigarette break caused a three-alarm blaze yesterday in which five Boston firefighters were injured.

A late-working employee on a cigarette break caused a three-alarm blaze yesterday in which five Boston firefighters were injured, fire officials said.

The Commercial Wharf fire broke out about 5:15 a.m. and caused $3 million in damage to the two-story law office building.

Fire officials said the cause of the fire was the careless disposal of a cigarette from an employee who worked late Tuesday and would go to the second-floor balcony for smoking breaks.

The heavily damaged structure would need to be fenced off and the owners “will need to make some decisions on the future of the building,” the fire department said.

In a rare event, two rescue divers went into the water with a hand line and fought the fire from underneath the dock.

The difficult access and fire pockets under the floorboards resulted in firefighters being on scene for more than four hours putting out the flames.

About 75 firefighters responded to the early morning scene.

One firefighter suffered a rib injury. One of the divers was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Two others were also taken for smoke inhalation and a fifth was taken to the hospital with a neck injury.

 
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