Shortly after a four-alarm fire ripped through the Brookline apartment building where Deanna Champagne lived, she stood outside in the cold, hugging her sister.

“I woke up to the sound of an alarm and when I went outside the apartment I saw a huge thing of smoke [in the hallway],” said Champagne, 23. “I’m just so glad we got out safe.”

Champagne, who lived in a basement unit at 1471 Beacon St., just a few doors away from where the fire started, was able to wake her roommate, Sofia Driscoll, and a friend who was visiting before flames engulfed the four-story building.

Brookline Fire Chief Paul Ford said two firefighters and one resident suffered minor injuries during the early morning blaze, which tore through all four floors.


Ford said all residents were evacuated and the fire was knocked down just after noon.

Neighboring buildings were also cleared out as firefighters fought to put out the flames.

Calvin Flegal, 22, moved into the building adjacent to the fire less than 24 hours prior.

“I still have some stuff in boxes,” he said. Flegal wasn’t sure where he was going to stay yesterday since residents weren’t allowed back inside.

Dozens displaced

Residents of the Beacon Street building that caught fire were left wondering yesterday where they were going to go.

Despite not immediately knowing where they were going to spend last night, residents were still thankful.

“I’m thankful we got out,” said Sofia Driscoll, a resident of the building.

Cause sought

Officials are investigating what caused the blaze, but Brookline Fire Chief Paul Ford said it started on the basement level and worked its way up to the roof, where responders had to break holes in the ceiling to control the fire.

Community help

The fire brought about a plentiful response from the Brookline community.

Apartment buildings not in the evacuation zone opened their doors and lobbies to displaced residents who needed refuge from the bitterly cold temperatures.

The MBTA also provided buses for residents to sit in and keep warm during the fire.

A manager from the local Stop & Shop wheeled a cart full of sandwiches and water down to a community building where residents affected by the fire gathered.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear

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