Friday, April 12, 2024

Firefighters work Thursday at the Fawcett Oil Co. site in North Cambridge, cutting a hole in a garage door that allowed access to help put out a fire. (Photos: Charles Teague)

Two company trucks — apparently with home heating oil vulnerable to fire inside — were driven out of the garage.

Fire struck a Fawcett Oil Co. building in North Cambridge at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday — the same site for which the company has announced plans to raze the buildings and put up 104 apartments.

There was potential for a far worse fire, an area resident said.

The 1 Tyler Court building held at least two partially full home heating oil delivery trucks, and possibly up to 10 of them, said Charles Teague, a resident who was on the scene. Fireman cut open the garage doors with a saw, quickly put out the flames inside and drove out two trucks.

“The fire was very near the shed that had an auxiliary oil tank used to fill the repair truck’s fuel cans,” said Teague, whose knowledge of the site’s development issues alerted him to the presence of the partially full oil-delivery trucks.

Firefighters from Somerville were among the first on the scene. The fire was put out quickly.

Massachusetts Avenue was closed to traffic so fire hoses could be stretched across to reach a hydrant, apparently because those on Cottage Park Avenue, the street closest to the site, don’t have adequate pressure.

“Those hydrants did not have pressure when the previous building burned down at the same spot many years ago,” Teague reported being told by Cottage Park resident Bill Fox.

The fire started in the cab of an oil truck in the garage, according to CBS News, and officials are investigating its cause.

The area is seeing industrial and business uses such as Fawcett Oil quickly turning residential.

Cottage Park Avenue may see the sale of a building — a manufacturing site for medical equipment such as iron lungs — that could become 20 units and an underground garage; and only a few minutes walk away is the Cameron Avenue site of the former Rounder Records, set to become 37 one- and two-bedroom apartments.