More than two dozen people lost their homes after a fire tore through a Seymour apartment building Saturday.
Most of the 26 people displaced are living with relatives temporarily as relief efforts are organized.
A firefighter broke his ankle at the scene of the blaze. No other injuries reported.
The fire, which officials believe began accidentally in a ceiling vent fan, was reported about 3 p.m. Saturday.
A person in one of the apartments called 911 after smelling smoke, going outside and seeing smoke coming from the attic, according to Deputy Fire Marshal Timm Willis.
A fire alarm inside the building sounded at the same time.
The fire began in the attic of the two-story apartment building and spread quickly across the roofline.
“There’s a common attic and the fire was running,” Willis said.
Firefighters’ efforts to put out the flames were hampered because they couldn’t get enough water from hydrants in the area, he said.
“We weren’t able to get adequate water pressure,” Willis said.
Fire officials will be following up with the water company to see what happened, he said.
A firewall in the attic stopped the fire from spreading further than it did, Willis said.
Story continues after embedded post from Ansonia’s Eagle Hose Hook & Ladder fire company:
The blaze damaged 20 apartments.
Most of the 26 people living there have found temporary housing with relatives, Willis said.
Others are getting help from the Connecticut Red Cross.
Susan Shaw, a senior director of the Connecticut Red Cross disaster services, said a total of 17 families have received emergency assistance from the organization.
The Red Cross was putting the fire victims in touch with TEAM Inc., which will see what help can be provided to the fire’s victims.
“We continue to provide referrals, and we’ve been spending the day making sure that people are settled and have a path forward,” Shaw said.
David Morgan, TEAM Inc. president and CEO, said those who lost their homes included a mother with a 1-year-old child.
A breakdown of all the families affected wasn’t yet available Monday, Morgan said, because the group was just beginning interviews of those affected.
He said TEAM will announce more about how people can help he relief effort later in the week.
“We’re going to try and hear their stories and where they are,” Morgan said. “From there we’ll see how they’re doing. We’ll probably learn a lot in the next 48 hours.”
Those displaced include Monica Santos, who lived at the apartment complex with her 12-year-old daughter. Santos’ friend, Nicole Lee Hernandez, started a gofundme page for the family, who is staying with her until they get back on their feet.
Hernandez posted pictures of the damage to Santos’ apartment on Facebook.
In an email, Schools Superintendent Michael Wilson said the fire “was catastrophic for one of our middle school students and their family.”
“In times like this, our Seymour team always rallies to help students and families in need, so we are doing a district wide dress down day on Thursday, April 26 where all of the proceeds/donations will go directly to the family,” Wilson said.
The Valley Indy left messages with First Selectman Kurt Miller Monday.
Willis said the fire appears to be accidental, and started in a ceiling vent fan, but that the ruling was not yet official.
The roughly 13,000-square-foot building is owned by Lynda’s Empire, a limited liability company based in Milford, according to property records.
About 75 firefighters from Seymour, Ansonia, Oxford, Beacon Falls, Bethany, and Woodbridge responded, he said.
Fire companies from as far away as Hamden and Southbury responded to cover other stations battling the blaze.
The injured firefighters rolled his ankle in a pothole, Willis said. He was treated and released from Griffin Hospital.
The deputy fire marshal said that there were no reports of any pets killed in the blaze, though three cats believed to have escaped the flames had not yet been located yet Monday.
A post from NBC Connecticut is embedded below.