A two-alarm fire Sunday morning took three hours to extinguish, but no one was severely injured.
Following a 911 call at 8:02 a.m., firefighters were called to a fire at a two-family home at 55 Redfield St., New Haven Police Department spokesman David Hartman said in a press release. The house is about a mile from central campus.
Two patrol officers who were in the area were the first to arrive on the scene. They found that two of the residents had been forced out onto the second floor balcony of the front of the three story structure, Hartman said. One of the officers, Carlos Ortiz, along with the help of neighbor Delvin Prescod, used a ladder from the neighbor’s yard to help rescue the residents from the balcony. Meanwhile, the other officer, Vanessa Thompson, opened the first floor front door and called for anyone else inside to leave. Between these two rescue efforts, seven residents and two dogs safely escaped the house, Hartman said.
The blaze was extinguished by around 11 a.m., Hartman said.
“Our Firefighters did an outstanding job,” Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Marcarelli said. “This was an aggressive fire and I’m proud of our department.”
Marcarelli, along with his command staff, supervised the operation at the scene, Hartman said.
According to the press release from Hartman, five of the seven residents who were in the building at the time of the fire were taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital–less than a mile from the house–for treatment of smoke inhalation. One of them, a woman, was also treated for minor burns.
The origin of the fire has not yet been determined, and according to Hartman’s press release, arson investigators and members of the Fire Marshal’s Office are still investigating.
“It’s too early to speculate on what exactly started this fire,” Chief Marcarelli said. “We’re focused on safety at this point. What sparked this blaze will be under investigation for some time.”
Hartman said power had been shut down to the block and that some homes will be without gas service for a while as a result of the fire. The home that was on fire will have to be demolished, and the multi family home next door at 51 Redfield St. suffered thermal and water damage during the fire, according to Hartman. The eight residents who live in the home were also escorted from their house during the fire as a safety precaution.
Fifty firefighters fought this blaze with support from the American Red Cross, the city’s Livable Cities Initiative, Building Enforcement Department, Police Department, Southern Connecticut Gas Company and the city’s Office of Emergency Management, according to the release.
“There were many heroes out there this morning,” Hartman said in the release. “Everyone there contributed to the effort. Lives were saved.”