By SCOTT JACKSON
The probe into the cause of a five-alarm fire that damaged three Newport Avenue buildings and displaced at least 20 residents is ongoing, but investigators have ruled out arson.
Jennifer Mieth, the spokeswoman for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, said investigators have determined the fire was not intentionally set.
“There is no indication that the fire was intentionally set,” she said.
The five-alarm fire is still being investigated by State Police assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s Office along with the Quincy Fire and Police Departments, Mieth said.
“The joint investigation between our office and local authorities is still ongoing,” she stated, adding the fire caused a significant amount of damage.
Mieth said there was no timeline for when the investigation would conclude, noting each fire is unique.
The fire March 12 fire began at 307 Newport Ave., located in the block opposite the Wollaston MBTA station. A passing taxi driver was the first to alert firefighters to the conflagration that morning.
The building at 307 Newport Ave. had sat vacant since a three-alarm fire in November 2015. Fire Chief Jack Cadegan previously told The Sun the fire likely started in the building’s basement and could have grown for hours before it was noticed.
The building at 307 Newport Ave. ignited into a fireball before firefighters could cut through a fence to enter property, Cadegan said, and the structure collapsed in the fire. The blaze spread next door to 317 Newport Ave., also known as the Odd Fellows Hall, which had to be demolished as well. The fire also damaged the building at 301 Newport Ave.
Firefighters were able to stop the blaze from spreading to the brick apartment building at 323 Newport Ave., but water damage displaced the residents living there.