Firefighters made quick work out of a fire in a fourth-floor apartment at the MacDonald Hotel Wednesday night that forced Main Street to be closed for several hours. There were no injuries from the fire that broke out around 8:30 p.m., but 30 to 40 residents were displaced from the 276 Main St. building, according to Battalion Chief David D’Amico. The Red Cross arrived to lend a hand. “The first engine company went up to investigate and they found smoke …. on the fourth floor,” D’Amico said. “They found the apartment where the fire was.” The fire, contained to one apartment, was under control within a half-hour, but crews remained on hand for several hours to make sure it didn’t reignite, D’Amico said. Firefighters don’t know what sparked the blaze Wednesday night. The state Fire Marshal’s inspector was called to the building.
“Right now, we are in the investigation stage,” he said. D’Amico said it’s unknown how long the building will be uninhabitable. “The sprinkler system did activate. The water damage throughout the building still has to be checked,” he said. “We still have to get into all these apartments.” Because of frequent false alarm, many people refused to evacuate, which became a challenge for firefighters. “Getting into this building while people are coming out that is always a challenge,” D’Amico said. Around 25 residents gathered in the nearby Marlborough House of Pizza to stay warm and wait for news from the department. Fire Chief Kevin Breen told the residents they would be able to enter the building to retrieve medications and personal belongings, but would not be allowed to stay the night.
“I was sleeping and I heard a small explosion,” said Andy Alley, who has lived on the third floor of the building for five years. “When I opened the door the smoke was floor to ceiling. This is the second fire since I’ve lived here.” Another resident said several people tried to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher. Southborough and Northborough Fire Departments also sent crews to help with the two-alarm fire.