Boston Crews Tackle Four-Alarm Fire

Aug. 18--A four-alarm fire tore through a Jamaica Plain house yesterday, gutting the multifamily home and likely killing a pet cat.

"I'm just happy everyone got out. My cat is probably the only one that didn't get out," said Patricia Adams, who owns the house with her son, Chris.

Chris Adams said only three people -- two tenants and a contractor -- were at the home when the fire started. All were on the first floor and escaped unharmed, he said.

Firefighters said they rescued one cat from the home, but Patricia Adams said her cat, Scout, was still missing after the flames were extinguished.

As heavy smoke billowed from the South Street house, Adams crouched in a neighbor's yard and collapsed into sobs as she watched her childhood home burn.

Chris Adams said his grandparents raised seven kids in the house, including his mother.

"There's a lot of good memories in that house," a tearful Patricia Adams told the Herald. "I'm still in shock."

Officials said they received the call for the fire about 1:15 p.m. Deputy Fire Chief Jay Fleming said he suspected the fire started on a porch and quickly spread to all floors of the home, including the attic.

Two firefighters were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, including "sprains and strains," Fleming said.

Red Cross officials said they were assisting six residents displaced in the fire.

Ralph Desmond, who lives next door, said he heard sirens and looked out the window to see a fire truck ladder outside his window.

"I saw smoke pouring out of the top," Desmond said. "They did a good job containing it. It was a massive fire."

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