The Associated Press reports that Thomas Walsh, a spokesman for city mayor Domenic Sarno, said a "massive cloud of debris" floating in a circle could be seen from City Hall.
TV footage showed what looked like a loosely rotating tornado blowing through the city's downtown. Heavy property damage in the south part of the city was reported by a local station.
ABC station WCVB in Boston reported four deaths were confirmed in the Springfield incident.
Springfield is approximately 90 miles west of Boston.
State police say they also have reports of tornadoes in Agawam, Charlton, Monson, Oxford, West Springfield, Westfield, Wilbraham and Sturbridge.
Reports say several tornadoes were produced by the larger storm system in the area.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and called up 1,000 National Guard troops following what he said were two damaging tornadoes that swept through the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.