Mass. Firefighters Battle 8-Alarm Fire

A spectacular 8-alarm fire destroyed a building containing businesses and apartments in downtown Marlborough on Sat., June 26, 2010.

The fire was reported at 173-179 Main St. around noon when employees noticed smoke at Hogan's Hair Design. They made sure their own customers were evacuated and also alerted people inside the Central West Grill. The owner of the restaurant is credited with alerting the residents of the upper floor apartments and making sure they were safely evacuated.

Heavy fire quickly consumed the wooden structure, which forced firefighters to go into defensive operations. Mutual aid from several surrounding communities responded to the fire and operated tower ladders, ladder pipes, deck guns and hand lines in a "surround and drown" operation.

At approximately 2:45 p.m., almost three hours into the fire, the building collapsed, narrowly missing firefighters operating in the street.

Operations continued for several hours before the fire was declared under control, and detail companies wet hot spots as bulldozers pulled apart debris. The state fire marshal was on scene to investigate the cause, which has yet to be determined.

Twelve people are homeless and are being assisted by the American Red Cross for temporary housing.