Firefighters were battling a major, multiple-alarm fire of several buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the city's fire department said on Twitter.
At least one building was ablaze at Berkshire and Vandine Streets, the Cambridge Fire Department said in a string of tweets.
The Boston Globe and local WCVB-TV reported that 10 alarms had been struck and that several buildings, as well as cars, were on fire.
The newspaper said that the blaze broke out shortly before 3 p.m. eastern (2000 GMT) and that firefighters had been summoned from surrounding communities to help fight the flames.
Globe employee Michael Workman, who lives across the street from the blaze, said that it erupted in a three-family residence that was undergoing renovations and that flames quickly jumped to another home as well as a former church building.
"It went up in a heartbeat. It was just raging ... It was just going so fast. I've never seen anything like that," Workman told the Globe
Images posted WCVB's website showed the street and sidewalk engulfed in flames, billowing thick black smoke, as firefighters poured water onto them from a truck.
Cambridge, located across the Charles River from Boston, is home to both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Neither campus appeared to be threatened from the fire.