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Underground Generator Fire at Clarendon Hill Towers

Somerville firefighters tackled the fire in an underground parking garage amid "heavy smoke conditions."

Somerville firefighters Friday morning put out a generator fire that broke out in an underground garage at Clarendon Hill Towers in West Somerville.

Somerville Fire Chief Kevin Kelleher said a repair man who had been working on the generator was finishing up his work when the generator caught on fire.

There were "heavy smoke conditions," Kelleher said, and smoke began to infiltrate the high-rise apartment building connected to the garage.

The fire broke out at about 10:30 a.m., and by around 11:15 a.m. firefighters had it under control. Kelleher classified it as a "small fire."

There were no reported injuries, and "right now it looks like everyone's going to stay in the building," Kelleher said at that time. Had the fire and smoke been worse, the fire department may have been forced to evacuate the entire building.

Clarendon Hill Towers is a large affordable housing complex along Broadway and Route 16 in Somerville. It has about 500 units of housing split among three buildings. 1366 Broadway, the building connected to the parking garage, is one of the three large towers that comprise the complex.

Ward 7 Alderman Robert Trane, who was on the scene, said neighbors had called him several times "to complain about this generator," which made lots of noise.

The fire heavily damaged the generator and nearby electrical wiring and conduits, leading to more than $100,000 worth of damage, according to an email from Deputy Fire Chief Charles Breen.

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