By SCOTT JACKSON
A five-alarm fire in Wollaston Tuesday displaced nearly 30 residents and a dozen businesses as it damaged or destroyed four buildings in the block opposite the Wollaston MBTA station.
The conflagration reportedly began in the building at 307 Newport Ave., which had sat vacant since a three-alarm fire in November 2015. The building at 307 Newport Ave. collapsed during Tuesday’s fire, with only its framing visible early Wednesday.
Tuesday’s fire spread to the former Odd Fellows Hall at 319 Newport Ave., a mixed-use residential and commercial building at 301 Newport Ave. and the two-story office and retail building at 299 Newport Ave. The fire displaced 27 residents and a dozen businesses that called those buildings home.
Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the brick apartment building at 323 Newport Ave., which is adjacent to the Odd Fellows Hall.
Two Quincy firefighters were taken to an area hospital for minor injuries sustained fighting the blaze Tuesday, according to the Quincy Police Department.
The Quincy Police and Fire Departments, along with State Police assigned to Office of the State Fire Marshall, are probing the cause of Tuesday’s fire.
“The plan was to reconvene this morning and hopefully have heavy equipment on scene to help delayer the debris,” Jennifer Mieth, the spokeswoman for the state Department of Fire Services, said Wednesday afternoon. “They are hoping to determine where the fire started and then to work to eliminate possible ignition sources in that area, if possible.”
Ward 3 Councillor Ian Cain credited the Quincy Fire and Police Departments, including Fire Chief Jack Cadegan and Police Chief Paul Keenan, for their efforts Tuesday.
“I did want to thank Chief Cadegan and the Quincy Police Department…for being so diligent in their response to the fire that took place Tuesday on Newport Ave. across from the Wollaston T station,” Cain said Tuesday afternoon.
“As far as I’ve learned, there has been minimal human damage – some sort of minor injuries – but all said it’s a pretty devastating fire and we hope for the best for the occupants of the buildings affected.”
Quincy police, assisted by state troopers, closed Newport Avenue north of Furnace Brook Parkway Tuesday. Both northbound lanes on Newport Avenue re-opened for Wednesday’s commute, with southbound traffic diverted at Elmwood Avenue. A section of Beale Street was also closed Tuesday morning but re-opened later in the day.
Full service on the MBTA’s shuttle between the Quincy Center, Wollaston and North Quincy stations resumed Wednesday morning as well. The shuttle had to bypass stops on Newport Avenue Tuesday while crews worked to extinguish the blaze.