A carelessly disposed cigarette caused a fire at a four-unit residence on Salem Street Monday afternoon, according to Malden Deputy Fire Chief Len Dunn.
The fire at 119 Salem St., next to the cemetery, broke out at about 2:15 p.m. All residents were able to evacuate before firefighters arrived on scene.
A firefighter suffered a leg injury battling the blaze but remained on duty. Firefighters also recused several cats from the home.
Dunn said the fire started on a first-floor porch and then, partially due to high winds, swept up the side of the home to a second-floor porch. All four apartments were uninhabitable after the blaze, and residents were put up in local motels.
In addition to the wind, the fire was difficult to contain because hoses had to be stretched around the house, and parked cars, Dunn said.