Four-alarm fire destroys Brighton business block

More than 100 Boston firefighters battled an early-morning, four-alarm blaze on Chestnut Hill Avenue in Brighton yesterday.

Firefighters battling an intense blaze “barely escaped” a ball of flames that erupted from a business on Chestnut Hill Avenue in Brighton yesterday morning, according to Boston Fire Department officials.

“At that point a decision was made to pull all [firefighters] out of the building,” said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Calobrisi.

The four-alarm fire, which was called in at 5:49 a.m., engulfed a string of one-story shops — including a pizza shop and a janitorial supply store — leading to a roof collapse.

The bitterly cold weather worsened the scenario for firefighters as ice froze to their suits and caused a slick sheath to form on the streets surrounding the scene.

“The weather was problematic,” said Calobrisi.

Two firefighters suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, according to officials.

Streets surrounding Chestnut Hill Avenue were blocked off to traffic as neighbors stood on the outskirts of the action, watching smoke billow from the buildings in massive plumes.

Christina Hein, 22, said she dined at the Italian eatery on that strip weekly and was upset about the loss.

“It’s really sad,” she said. “The owners of the place are really friendly.”

The strip of businesses that burned in the blaze included a catering company and a laundromat.

Neighbor Alex Buck, 22, said he woke up to the smell of smoke several blocks away from the fire.

“It’s crazy how smoky it is,” he said.

The cause of the fire, which started in the pizza shop on the corner, is still under investigation.

Behind the scenes

Water used to fight the blaze began to collect in the parking lot in back of the block of buildings that caught fire, threatening to flood in to an apartment on Embassy Road.

Fire official said roughly 1 foot of water was outside the apartment, where a sand barricade was constructed to prevent it from creeping inside.

Fire facts
Roughly 120 firefighters were on scene during the Brighton blaze.
Officials said it was just 14 degrees Fahrenheit when they responded to the fire.
A firehouse is stationed less  than one block from where the blaze broke out.
Officials estimated the fire caused $4 million worth of damage.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.