Hundreds evacuated as fire strikes Boston high-rise

BOSTON — Hundreds of construction workers were evacuated from a downtown high-rise on Congress Street, Friday, as a fire struck the 20th floor of the 43 story building that’s currently under construction.

Annisha Simpson is a carpenter working on the building. Simpson was on the 32nd floor when she heard warning signals telling her to immediately evacuate.

“It was nerve wracking. I’m just panicking. Ok, just make it to the bottom, make it to the bottom, figure out what’s going on after that,” Simpson said.

Pipefitter Sean White was working on the 26th floor when he heard the warning blasts.

“I don’t want to get trapped, you know what I mean? You gotta get out,” White said. “First thing you do is get out. I left all my stuff up there and I got right out.”

Boston firefighters worked quickly to extinguish the multi-alarm fire, but it took crews longer to control the smoke.

“There’s so much smoke trapped in that building right now. The windows don’t open so we had to break a couple of windows it’s a very labor intensive process to get lines in operation,” said BFD Deputy Chief James Greene.

The tower is attached to the Government Center Parking garage project that collapsed in March, killing a worker.

[ Drone video: Crews remain on scene of deadly Government Center garage collapse ]

This week the MBTA closed orange and green line service in the area, saying support columns for the garage were severely deteriorated.

[ Service on Orange, Green lines suspended due to structural concerns at Government Center Garage ]

All of it frustrating people like Ed Dave who depend on Downtown public transportation.

“Every time there’s a problem, they just patch it up. Patch a little hole, we continue and boom it happens again,” Dave said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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