Massive fire consumes Charlton mill
CHARLTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- An intense and ruthless fire ripped through an historic Charlton mill on Thursday night.
The fire spread fast -- a massive fireball lit up the night sky.
“Flames were probably 80 feet high, 50 to 100 feet wide. Black smoke all over the place,” said a man who escaped the fire.
Ten businesses were destroyed in the fire on City Depot Road.
“Just got real hot, you heard an explosion,” said the man who escaped.
“Devastated, devastated this is everything I have, you know. My job’s gone,” said Gary Cove, whose classic car business was destroyed.
Cove and his son were inside when the fire erupted. They raced to save the cars.
“Still smoldering and hot at 3 o’clock in the morning -- some of them were jacked up, we had to find the tires and put them on,” said Cove.
They saved a $165,000 car and an $800,000 Mercedes, but the fire moved to fast to save them all.
“There’s a lot of cars that are a total loss,” said Cove.
The fire broke out around 9 p.m. Multiple companies responded to the fire -- 75 firefighters were on the scene, six firefighters were hurt. The injured firefighters were brought to the hospital, but have since been released.
With no fire hydrants in the area, firefighters had to set up pools and use tankers to shuttle water in.
“The fire conditions were just so heavy and so large that it overcame our water supply,” said Fire Chief Charles Cloutier of the Charlton Fire Department.
Officials are considered about the 275 gallon tank filled with heating oil, which they need to remove.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it does not appear to be suspicious.