Seven-Alarm Fire Engulfs East Boston Duplex

 Updated April 2, 2012, 9:29 am

Boston firefighters battled an seven-alarm fire* in East Boston on Sunday afternoon, but were able to keep the flames from spreading beyond a single building.

The Boston Fire Department said the fire began on the top floor of a three-story duplex on Chelsea Street around 2 p.m. Firefighters were evacuated from the building after at least part of the roof collapsed.

Homes on the street are closely packed, with only four feet between buildings. The fire spread to the other side of the duplex, and the building next door also suffered damage.

Everyone who lived in the duplex was evacuated safely. The residents of the unit where the fire started were not at home at the time.

Ileana Rodriquez said she was taking a shower Sunday when the smoke alarm sounded in her first floor apartment.

“I wasn’t able to grab my bag or my phone. Just myself,” says Rodriquez. “I was trying to get back to get my purse or my cellphone. But they said, no, it’s not safe. So I have to stay outside here.”

One firefighter and one resident were hospitalized, but their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino says 30 people were displaced. The Red Cross is helping them find places to stay.

The Boston Fire Department estimates the damage at $2.5 million. The fire’s cause is still being investigated.

Correction: An earlier version of this post said the fire was an eight-alarm fire.

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