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Fire crews battle blaze near Boston's South Station

By Daniel Lovering

BOSTON (Reuters) - Firefighters battled an eight-alarm fire that engulfed several floors of a brick office building in south Boston on Tuesday morning, blocking traffic near South Station, the city's main transit hub, during the morning rush hour.

No injuries were reported, and the fire, which erupted before dawn, continued to burn by mid-morning. Investigators were unable to gain access to parts of the five-story building, the Boston Fire Department said on Twitter.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at 4:29 a.m. EST (0929 GMT), the department said. Fire officials raised eight alarms and sounded evacuation sirens.

Cleaners in the building escaped through the back door, the department said, as firefighters forced open the entrance to the building, which had been undergoing renovations.

Photos posted by the fire department on Twitter showed flames shooting out of ground-floor windows into darkness, charred window frames.

The department said a fire official had estimated damages at about $2 million. The cause was still under investigation.

(Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Jeffrey Benkoe)