Residents displaced by Revere blaze collect belongings before apartment building is demolished

REVERE, MASS. (WHDH) - More than 100 people who were displaced by a massive fire that broke out at an apartment building in Revere on Sunday afternoon returned to their homes Wednesday to collect their belongings before officials decide whether to demolish the severely damaged structure.

The 36-unit building on Franklin Avenue went up in flames around 2 p.m. The roof caved in as firefighters battled the blaze and multiple floors collapsed.

Construction crews and fire officials allowed residents, equipped with hard hats, back inside the building for short periods of time so they could retrieve items such as passports, important documents, jewelry, and licenses, among other mementos.

Tearful residents said they are still shocked by the tragedy.

The blaze had already spread to the walls and ceilings by the time firefighters arrived at the scene, according to officials. The fire burned for about 12 hours as many residents watched their homes get reduced rubble.

The building was deemed a total loss.

Crews are working to determine if the building is structurally sound before they opt to demolish it. A decision is expected by the end of the week.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)