7 injured as firefighters battle hours-long East Boston blaze at casket company

Seven people were transported by Boston EMS during an hours-long response as fire crews worked to extinguish a massive nine-alarm blaze at a factory building in East Boston that prompted officials to evacuate area residents and suspend service on a stretch of the Blue Line.

Firefighters responding to a reported structure fire at the New England Casket Company on Bennington Street around 3 p.m. found flames shooting through the roof and a massive plume of smoke pouring out of the building.

First responders reported that two police officers suffered from smoke inhalation, two firefighters suffered from exhaustion, and one firefighter suffered a minor injury. Two others were reportedly transported by Boston EMS to local hospitals.

“This is, for me, the biggest fire that I’ve ever seen as the mayor of this city,” Boston mayor Marty Walsh said.

Fire officials said that windy conditions added to the strength of the fire, making fighting the flames difficult.

Shortly after arriving on scene, firefighters ordered out of the structure took defensive positions around the outside using ladder trucks.

As they work to extinguish the flames, crews faced several obstacles, including high winds and the release of hazardous fumes.

The Boston Firefighters Union has ordered all crews working on the blaze to use their air supply.

It’s unclear what chemicals were causing the concern.

“We have been monitoring the atmosphere, we have meters up in the neighborhood,” Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn said, “They are well within acceptable range.”

East Boston residents who were ordered to evacuate were taken to the Boston Centers for Youth and Families location on Paris Street.

The MBTA has suspended Blue Line service between Orient Heights and Wonderland for eastbound and westbound service. Buses will replace service in both directions.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

This is a developing story; stay with 7News on air and online for the latest updates.

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