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Firefighters battle two-alarm fire in top floor of North End building

Firefighters work to knock down a fire on Hanover Street in the North End as a diner took photos from inside another a nearby restaurant.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Eight people were displaced after a two-alarm fire broke out at a red-brick building in the North End early Wednesday evening, according to the Boston Fire Department.

The building at 288 Hanover St. contains the Bella Vista restaurant on the ground floor and apartments on the floors above.

Smoke was already showing from the roof, sending a thick black plume through the neighborhood, when the first crews arrived at 5:45 p.m., officials said.

A Boston police officer sets up crime scene tape as a family eats dinner while firefighters work to knock down a fire on Hanover Street in the North End Wednesday evening. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

A second alarm was quickly ordered, Boston fire said. Firefighters faced heavy smoke conditions in the building, the department said on Twitter.

Firefighters had to deal with tight conditions in the street and limited access to the blaze, Boston fire said.

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No injuries were reported, Boston fire said. Officials will remain at the scene and monitor for hotspots.

Hanover Street reopened to traffic at about 8 p.m. Despite the presence of firefighters, police and apparatus, the popular street quickly returned to normal.

The street was bustling with people dining outdoors, enjoying a nice summer evening. There were long lines out of restaurants and tables filled at many of the restaurants.

Tom Carchidi, of Holliston, was watching firefighters clean up while his daughter was picking up dessert at Mike’s Pastry, which was right outside the blocked off area of Hanover Street.

He had dinner reservations at Trattoria Il Panino, a restaurant a couple buildings down from where the fire started, with his family for his daughter’s 24th birthday. But when they drove toward Hanover Street for dinner, they were detoured for first responders to get to the scene.

“We saw the smoke ... and we had to stop so police and fire trucks could go by us, so we kind of knew something was happening, but we didnt realize we were going in the same destination,” he said.

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Carchidi saw people watching the firefighters before heading to another nearby restaurant for dinner instead and then for dessert for the road home.

“We just told her she’ll never forget this birthday,” he added.


This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Onlookers watch as firefighters worked to knock down a fire on Hanover Street in the North End. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff



Adam Sennott can be reached at adam.sennott@globe.com.