WOLCOTT, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — Authorities say an early-morning fire that required 50 firefighters to extinguish has killed one man and left his elderly mother in critical condition in Wolcott.
Fire Chief Kyle Dunn says neighbors who rushed to the scene helped the woman in her 80s get out of the side door of the Central Avenue home.
"He banged out the window and yelled in for her, because we know her name is Ruth," said Ken Fortier. "She answered back and she came to his voice."
The rescuers, who were woken up by their dogs barking, were unable to reach her son, Theodore Fortier, who was visiting from Maine.
"The whole house was involved, heavy fire and smoke," said Dunn. "Our main goal was to go inside the half of the house that wasn't as bad and save that, and get to the victim."
The man, who is in his 50s, was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, where he was pronounced dead.
While the neighbors were unable to save the son, the fact that they risked their lives is not lost on the firefighters that are trained and know the dangers of their job.
"A tremendous response," said Dunn. "From what I'm being told second hand, three neighbors came out they heard the commotion, they ended up helping the woman, it was a great effort by the neighbors, they did a great job."
"I saved a life, but it was just nothing that I hope a neighbor wouldn't do for me," Fortier said.
Ruther Fortier, the woman neighbors saved from the blaze, is in serious but stable condition.
Local and state fire marshals are continuing to center their investigation on the garage. They are sifting through debris hoping to find the exact cause of the blaze.
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