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Fire Burns Two Houses In Ansonia

by Eugene Driscoll | Mar 11, 2017 4:26 am

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Posted to: Ansonia

At least 11 people, including a teenager, were driven from their homes Friday after flames tore through two multi-family houses at the corner of Fourth and Liberty streets.

No injuries were reported, though Red Cross officials said they were told two dogs died in the fire.

The number displaced was expected to increase by another five to eight people as tenants of the two apartment houses were still making their way to the Red Cross, whose volunteers set up shop inside a restaurant on North Main Street to help.

As of 1:30 a.m. Saturday, state fire marshals were taking statements from the families trying to piece together what happened.

The following photos were taken by Katie Matto. Click here for her photography page.

The article continues below.

Ansonia emergency crews received several 911 calls reporting a fire.

According to a recording of the emergency radio transmissions, Ansonia firefighters were dispatched at 10:27 p.m.

Three minutes later a firefighter on scene confirmed a “fully involved” structure fire. At 10:32 p.m., a ladder truck from Derby was requested to respond. Seymour firefighters were sent at roughly the same time as Derby.

The fire started at 122 Liberty St., a 92-year-old, 13-room house.

Tenants said they heard banging and someone yelling fire. Tenants ran into the street, some in pajamas. The temperature was about 20 degrees.

Photo: Eugene Driscoll

The flames quickly spread to 55 Fourth St., a two-story house about 100 years old.

Both houses sit next to each other, splitting about a quarter acre across from Gatison Park.

Ansonia First Assistant Fire Chief Mike Eheman said the first crews on scene were greeted by heavy fire, especially from the Liberty Street house.

“It was fully involved, which means there was fire on multiple floors,” Eheman said. “It escalated quickly and spread to the adjacent house,” Eheman said.

A section of the roof collapsed on the house with the Liberty Street address.

“These are old, balloon-frame construction. Once it got in there, it traveled fast,” Eheman said.

Firefighters were still on scene as of 2 a.m.

Ansonia’s Missy Lundeen and her team from the Red Cross were making arrangements early Saturday to get the tenants into hotels.

They filled out paperwork by flashlight, as the power was turned off to the restaurant they were using as a temporary safe haven.

Lundeen gave her socks to one tenant who escaped the house while wearing only slippers on his feet.

It was cold. Eheman said firefighters had some trouble hooking a hose to one of the hydrants because of the temperature.

The smoke was so heavy a fire alarm at a nearby building was tripped.

Fourth Street is off North Main Street, also known as state Route 115.

Seymour’s Citizen Engine Co. No. 2 posted photos from the fire on Facebook.

The post is embedded below.

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