A man in his 50s was killed and a woman was displacedafter a two-alarm fire broke out in their Roxbury home around 4 a.m. Saturday, forcing firefighters to battle through heat, humidity, and hoarding conditions inside the house, according to a Boston Fire Department spokesman.
The cause of the fire, which led to about $350,000 in damages, was still under investigation, said fire department spokesman Brian Alkins.
No firefighters were injured, but the extreme heat forced them to rotate out frequently, Alkins said.
“It was a hot and humid night,” he said, which “takes a toll on our men.”
The woman was being helped by a city agency to find housing, the fire department said in a tweet. Alkins said he had no information on her condition.
Alerted to the blaze by the smoke and flashing lights of the fire trucks Saturday morning, neighbors on Rockland Street rushed outside to see what was happening.
“I thought I was in a movie,” Nasra Adan said. “It was scary.”
Natasha Robinson, 49, who lives across the street from the house, said the residents were a mother and her son.
“It’s just sad, ‘cause she’s elderly, now she’s just by herself,” Robinson said. “There’s nobody to help her or anything.”
Neither Robinson nor her mother, Debra Reed, knew the victims. They kept to themselves, Reed said.
But Reed recalled occasionally seeing the man outside and sometimes saw the woman walking to the supermarket. She would take a cab home from the store, Reed said.
“She didn’t bother nobody; she was a nice lady,” Reed said. “She didn’t even speak — she was like a loner.”
Robinson said the woman walked so slowly that it took her a long time to get to the store. But she walked there often, sometimes with a cane.
“She was independent like that,” she said.
Dom, 23, a nearby neighbor who declined to give her last name, said she saw the woman outside walking her dog several years ago.
“They were really quiet,” she said. “I was shocked” by what happened.Abbi Matheson of the Globe staff contributed to this story. Kellen Browning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @kellen_browning.