Two homes were badly damaged and seven people were forced to spend the night elsewhere as flames tore through two Westfield homes Wednesday night.
The first one broke out on Notre Dame and Elm streets, where four people were forced from their home. Another, just a short time later, started on Pleasant Street.
Westfield Fire Chief Mary Regan says the wind is making their jobs much harder.
"The wind has really been a problem, pushing the fire through the house," she said.
When firefighters first got to 45 Pleasant St., it wasn't even worth risking sending them inside.
"This fire here was so intense when they first arrived on scene they tried to make an inside attack, but the floor was compromised where they were trying to go in so we had to pull people out for a defensive attack," Regan said.
Firefighters spent much of the evening attacking flames from the outside.
Thick smoke blanketed much of the neighborhood, drawing in a crowd. Neighbors say it's tough to watch another's home go up in flames.
"We live down the street so we came by just to make sure everyone was all right. We hope no one was inside," said Rafael Ayalah, who lives down the street.
There were no injuries reported in either of the fires.
The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of both of them.
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