A worker was hospitalized after a three-alarm fire broke out at Worcester’s Doherty High School Monday afternoon.
According to acting Deputy Fire Chief Adam Roche, the first began shortly after 3:00 p.m. The City of Worcester advised the public to stay away from the area around 20 minutes later.
Traffic Advisory: Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Doherty High School (Highland Street and Newton Square). WFD is on scene.
— City of Worcester (@TweetWorcester) September 12, 2022
The fire began in an area of the school that was under construction for the new high school. According to Roche, workers were installing pieces of roofing earlier in the day.
The worker’s injuries are not considered serious, according to Roche.
School was not in session at the time the fire began.
Combatting the fire was made more difficult by the height at which the blaze began. According to Roche, fire crews used aerial equipment to fight the fire on the construction project’s fifth floor.
Video sent into Boston 25 shows large plumes of thick, black smoke ascending into the air.
Welp this doesnt bode well pic.twitter.com/vgiVX3oh8c
— Bill Shaner (@bill_shaner) September 12, 2022
Joan Dunn likened the large black plume of smoke to a Hollywood effect.
“It was a black plume of smoke but there was actually red in it. You could see flames in it,” said Dunn. “Like something in a movie.”
Dunn told Boston 25 that a worker told her how the fire began.
“He said it was a welder’s spark that hit the roofing material which was very flammable,” Dunn said.
According to the Worcester Fire Department, it’s possible that insulation for the roof caused the fire.
The construction project for the new Doherty High School is estimated to be more than 400,000 square feet and will cost more than 300 million upon completion.
“It’s like a punch in the gut a little bit,” said Worcester Mayor Joe Petty. “You put in a lot of time and effort. A lot of time went into the planning of this school over several years. It’s supposed to be 2024 and hopefully that will continue to be the case.”
Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.