Riding along with Boston police offi­cers on patrol in the Mis­sion Hill neigh­bor­hood, Mike Fitzgerald, a community-​​student liaison in Northeastern’s Office of City and Com­mu­nity Rela­tions, was midway through a rather ordi­nary night. It was early Sunday morning, and Fitzgerald and the offi­cers had just ended a noisy party, part of an ongoing part­ner­ship between police and the university.

But as Fitzgerald and Sgt. Joe Horton of the Boston Police Depart­ment con­tinued their way through the neigh­bor­hood, the two started to detect a sharp odor.

We weren’t sure if it was someone’s car or a fire­place maybe, but when we turned around the corner onto Calumet Street, we saw this huge fire that was already span­ning two houses,” Fitzgerald said. “There was a woman out front yelling that people were stuck inside. Sgt. Horton called for help and then just ran straight into the building up to the second floor.”

Fitzgerald fol­lowed Horton inside, banging on first-​​floor doors to alert sleeping res­i­dents to the quickly growing blaze, which ulti­mately con­sumed three triple-​​decker houses on Calumet Street and sent one woman to the hos­pital for treat­ment of smoke inhalation.

Scores of Boston fire­fighters were on the scene within min­utes, fighting the five-​​alarm scorcher.

When they move, they really move,” Fitzgerald said. “Those fire­fighters knew exactly what to do to put that fire out and make sure every­body was safe.”

In total, some 130 fire­fighters worked to fight the fire, which was fueled by strong winds from this weekend’s storm. The fire began around 12:45 a.m. Sunday in the duplex at 37–39 Calumet, quickly spreading to the houses on either side.

It was really intense,” Fitzgerald said. “You could see the fire just jumping from porch to porch and moving really quickly.”

Of the res­i­dents dis­placed, seven were North­eastern stu­dents, who are receiving housing, meals and other ser­vices from the uni­ver­sity in the wake of the fire.