BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) -- The answer to what caused the home on Central Avenue in Bridgeport to catch fire lies somewhere inside the charred remains. Although the house is considered vacant, the fire has left at least one man homeless.
One firefighter suffered burns to her legs searching for anyone inside the home.
"Neighbors had reported there might be homeless people in the house so we had to assume there might be someone there and do a primary search," said Asst. Chief Robert Morton, Bridgeport Fire Department.
No one was inside. A man who identified himself as Nelson said he's been living at 1839 Central Avenue for over a year, and even tried to save his so-called home from fire.
"Seen the fire in the room where I be at, it was all around the bed I lay at," Nelson said. "I couldn't put it out. I tried, I tried."
Showing the soot on his hand, Nelson claimed the fire sparked soon after he told another vagrant to move on and not try and stay here.
"Earlier that was sitting on the steps doing whatever he doing with smoking," Nelson said. "I don't know what he be doing but I told him he couldn't be here."
Nelson did cooperate with the investigators. The fire marshal is determining what if any role squatters may have played in what happened here.
This house is heavily damaged and now access is easy; the front door wide open and so are the windows. It's the homeowners responsibility to secure it, but it's often difficult for the city to track down the so-called absentee owners.
News 8 spotted three other vacant, boarded up houses on this street. The fire, which was reported around 3:00 a.m., occurred right across the street from Harding High School.
A female firefighter sent in to make sure no one was inside was taken to the hospital with minor burns to her knees. She has already been treated and released.
The American Red Cross is arranging services and shelter for Nelson.
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