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Dozens homeless after Cambridge fire damages 15 homes

Firefighters from 17 different departments battled flames for six hours.

More than 60 people were rendered homeless and a three-story apartment building was reducted to rubble this weekend after a fire tore through a densly populated neighborhood in Cambridge.

“This looks like a third-world country after a bombing,” Cambridge Fire Chief Gerald Reardon said at a news conference. “It’s a lot of devastation.”

Nearly 150 firefighters from 17 departments responded to thefire, which broke out around 2 p.m. Saturday. Itdamaged 15 buildings, some catastrophically, and consumed several homes and cars. It took about nine hours to knock down the flames and firefighters remained on scene overnight to extinguish any remaining hot spots.

One building collapsed and fire officials said Sunday they were concerned a "number" of other buildings could collapse. Several people suffered minor injuries, but no one was seriously hurt.

Officials believe the fire started in an empty house that was under construction,WBZ reported.

Eversource cut electrical power to the neighborhood. About 1,700 people were without power. Crews restored power to most homesovernight.

"The fact that it happened in daylight, and people were up and around and cognizant of what’s going on versus sleeping at night is obviously something in our favor. We are very fortunate here that we’re not looking at a serious series of fatalities,” ReardontoldWHDH.

Cambridge MayorE. Denise Simmons has established a fire relief fund to assist the families and individuals directly impacted by the devastating fire. By mid-afternoon Sunday, theGo Fund Me pagehad already raised $143,000.

Donations can also be made in person or by mail with a check made out to theMayor's Fire Relief Fund,795 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139.