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Major Fire Strikes Teele Square Saturday Night

The fire started in Hawk Cleaners on Broadway in the middle of an early season snow storm. As of midnight there were no injuries and firefighters were still fighting the blaze.

A major fire broke out in Teele Square, Somerville, late Saturday night. As of midnight, firefighters from at least six towns and cities were fighting the three-alarm blaze, and Somerville Fire Chief Kevin Kelleher said firefighters would be fighting throughout the night.

As of that time there were no injuries, said Kelleher.

All of Somerville's firefighting apparatus was on scene in Teele Square to fight the fire, said Kelleher, and fire trucks from at least five other towns and cities in the area—Boston, Cambridge, Everett, Chelsea and Medford—were also on the scene. At least 16 fire trucks were there. Broadway, Holland Street and numerous other streets in Teele Square were shut down.

The fire started in , at 1164 Broadway in Teele Square, the fire chief said.

Firefighters attacked the fire in wet, cold, snowy conditions, due to an early season October snowstorm that was bringing inches of slushy snow to the Somerville area.

According to Joy Li, who works at Kee Kar Lau, a Chinese restaurant near the cleaners, the fire started sometime before 11 p.m., when she called 911.

Li, who's the daughter of Kee Kar Lau's owners, said she and her sister, Nikki Che, who was also working at the restaurant, "smelled a burnt smell. We thought it was our own restaurant" that was causing the smell. 

Kelleher said the fire stopped before it reached the Chinese restaurant, but there was extensive damage to the restaurant, with three feet of water in its basement, and the dry cleaners is totally damaged. The West Somerville police substation, a few doors down from the fire, experienced smoke damage, said Kelleher.

As of midnight, the fire department had not determined the cause of the fire, said Kelleher, and the blaze was not fully under control at that time.

He said firefighters would be fighting the fire "all night" and fire investigators would probably start their work in the morning.

Somerville mayor Joseph Curtatone, Ward 7 Alderman Robert Trane and other officials from Somerville were on the scene.

Ron Newman October 31, 2011 at 02:35 PM
I just now uploaded 12 photos of the fire aftermath, but they disappeared. What happened to them?
Chris Orchard (Editor) October 31, 2011 at 03:06 PM
Hi Ron, Thanks for uploading those great photos. I'm able to see them, so I'm not sure why you can't. Maybe refresh and check again?
Ron Newman October 31, 2011 at 03:10 PM
I thought the photos would appear here as comments. Are they somewhere else?
Ron Newman October 31, 2011 at 03:12 PM
OK, now I see them mixed in with the fire photos. But you deleted all of my captions!
Chris Orchard (Editor) October 31, 2011 at 03:20 PM
Hey Ron. I assure you I didn't delete any captions; I love captions. But you're right, I can't see them. If you feel like trying again, make sure to click "save" to the right of each individual caption (each caption needs to be saved individually). Great photos!
Ron Newman October 31, 2011 at 03:46 PM
OK, I added the captions in again. This time I hope they'll stay.

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