A state police fire marshal is investigating a blaze that started late Monday in a condemned apartment building in the 200 block of Main Street, then spread to another condemned apartment building and an adjacent commercial building.
A firefighter had a close call when the rear wall of the building where the fire started collapsed.
The firefighter was trying to get away when the collapsing wall caught his boot and pulled it off his foot, said Boswell fire Chief Frank Bendick.
The firefighter was not injured, he said.
Three condemned apartment buildings are grouped close together at that location, where workers were in the process of salvaging usable building materials, Bendick said. Two of the buildings sit at the front of the property and the third is situated lengthwise across both structures at the rear.
When firefighters arrived, the rear building was fully engulfed in fire. The flames had extended to one of the other apartment buildings through a passageway, Bendick said.
The rear building was destroyed and the other damaged, he said. The third apartment building was not touched by flames.
Flames also jumped to a neighboring commercial building that houses a masonry company, Bendick said.
That building sustained substantial damage to the rear portion of the roof, he said.
An alley runs behind the destroyed apartment, and vinyl siding on a two-car garage on the other side of the alley melted from the heat, Bendick said. A nearby utility pole also caught fire.
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