CHELSEA, MASS. (WHDH) - Flames tore through a vacant commercial building in Chelsea Thursday, causing part of the building to collapse and keeping fire crews busy for several hours. 

Chelsea Fire Chief John Quatieri said the fire started near 10 a.m. Thursday morning in the basement of what was once home to Russo’s Tux Shop. 

The fire spread fast through the three-story building off Revere Beach Parkway and smoke soon billowed over the surrounding neighborhood. 

“There’s so much smoke,” said area resident Vicky Powers. “So much fire. It’s crazy.”

As the building’s rubber roof began to give way, Quatieri said, firefighters were ordered out. 

“It’s very dangerous,” Quatieri told 7NEWS while crews continued battling the fire from exterior positions. “We can’t be inside, so most of the roof has already collapsed and two sections of the building.”

Firefighters from Chelsea worked with crews from surrounding towns to douse the flames. While they worked, their ongoing response also snarled traffic along Revere Beach Parkway. 

At one point, officials said they were concerned the fire could jump to a neighboring triple-decker. 

“So far we’ve been able to prevent the fire from spreading to that building and we were able to get all the occupants out right at the beginning of the fire,” Quatieri said.

Smoke was still billowing out of the building near 12 p.m. Thursday. Though some of the smoke had dissipated as of around 12:30 p.m., crews remained on scene. 

Also standing nearby, the owner of the nearby triple-decker was in disbelief. 

“I need to go inside and check and see what happened,” Santos Ventura said. “Maybe we got water inside. Maybe it got destroyed. I don’t know. I don’t know yet.”

Roughly six hours after the first started, fire crews were still gathered around the site of this fire.

Though a church operates inside the building on weekends, Quatieri said authorities do not believe anyone was inside when the fire started. 

There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire was unknown as of Thursday afternoon.

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