MEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - One firefighter was taken to a local hospital after a large fire broke out in an automotive building Wednesday morning.

The fire started in the wall of Medford’s “Automotive Services” and quickly spread into the rubber and wooden shingled roof before taking off.

The owner, Joe Cummings, said his two sons and two other employees were inside at the time of the fire and tried to put out the flames but couldn’t stop them from spreading.

“My son told me he saw some fire coming out of the wall over a lighting fixture,” Cummings said.

The auto repair shop has been in Medford for 80 years. Tires and cars inside the facility were burned, sending toxic smoke into the air that could be seen and smelled for miles.

“I think it’s really important that people stay away,” said Medford Mayor Stephanie Muccini. “There’s a lot of fumes that are in that vicinity and we know there’s tires that have burned, so it’s a very unsafe location to be in.”

A nearby storage unit facility was concerned about the fire potentially spreading.

Firefighters say firewalls helped contain the flames, but the building was too fragile to fight the fire from inside.

“We got reports that the roof was a bit spongy,” said deputy fire chief William Young. “So we got everybody out, which makes it so hard. The best way to fight a fire is from inside.”

With help from other area fire departments, Medford used ladder trucks and stood on nearby roofs to spray the shop down. Power was cut off to around 1,000 customers as the fight was underway.

But in the end, they couldn’t save this local business.

“I think once I have a moment to sit back and realize the devastation of it all, I’ll probably be a little more upset than I am now,” Cummings said. “But at the end of the day, my two sons were in the building, they got out okay…honestly, that’s all that matters.”

A portion of Mystic Ave near the scene has been shut down and residents are asked to avoid the area.

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