LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - Firefighters spent hours battling a massive blaze that has displaced eight families living in a Lawrence row home Thursday night.

Crews were called to the scene on Shawsheen Court AROUND 7:45 p.m. and upon their arrival found the home fully engulfed with thick, black smoke pouring into the air which could be seen from as a far away at Interstate 495.

Fire chief Brian Moriarty said water supplies made the fight all the more difficult.

“We did encounter a lot of problems with water This section of the city, we did not have good water.” he said.

Several people were home when they said they started smelling smoke.

Shaila Alicea who is nine months pregnant said she stopped doing her breathing exercises to alert her neighbors to the impending danger.

“When we went and looked, there was fire coming downstairs onto our porch,” Alicea said. “We knew we had to get out so we grabbed the kids, grabbed my cat and we started knocking on doors. She started knocking, ringing and screaming fire and thankfully we got a lot of people out.”

Everyone was able to make it out safely.

The middle section of the row homes has completely caved in. The other homes were far enough away not to be damaged.

Moriarty said an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire however, it may remain undetermined because of the extent of the damage.

This is a breaking news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.

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