A fire broke out at a residential building on Chapel Street at about 1:35 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
The building, located at 1187 Chapel Street, is less than a block from Pierson and Davenport Colleges and contains both office space and apartments. All those inside the building when the fire started made it out safely before the New Haven Fire Department arrived on scene, said New Haven Fire Department Battalion Chief William Gould.
Gould, who had been inside the building fighting the fire, said that the fire engulfed two rooms on the second floor and had spread to the attic space by the time the NHFD arrived.
“It was a pretty big fire,” Gould said. “We had to do some intensive work to sort things out.”
Gould said that it was too early to identify the cause of the fire, but that it had started on the second floor, a residential floor.
Adam Lee, a spectator at the scene, said that at around 1:50 p.m. he saw the fire’s smoke from his apartment building at Park and George Streets, two blocks away from the fire.
About five NHFD fire engines and 30 firefighters responded to the scene. Gould said that firefighters arrived on scene at about 1:43 p.m., less than 10 minutes after the fire started. Several police officers and paramedic teams were also present. Firefighters began to exit the building around 2:45 p.m.
Recently-appointed NHFD Chief John Alston was also on scene. Gould said that this was not the New Haven first fire to which Alston responded, but that it was the first he supervised extensively. Gould added that communication ran smoothly during the operation between the chief and the firefighters in his department.
The fire was contained at 1187 Chapel and did not spread to the neighboring buildings — which include Joseph’s Furs and Gag’s Liquor Store — a firefighter confirmed.