NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Three firefighters were taken to the hospital as a precaution after a fire at a condo in New Haven this morning.
There is not much left of a set of condos on Quinnipiac Avenue in New Haven. Alan Vezina lives in the end unit. He pushed the screen out of his bedroom window thinking he'd have to jump.
"The flames were pretty high," Vezina said. "It was quite scary."
He took a photo that shows the flames tearing through his neighbors homes around 2:00 a.m.. He thinks the fire started in the middle of the five units, and fortunately the man who lives there was awake.
"And he was downstairs, and I believe it started at the top somewhere on the second floor, and he was on the bottom floor in his basement, and he heard a pop," Vezina said.
That pop was really the crackle of flames. He ran out and started warning the neighbors. All nine people got out safely, but fire crews still had to make sure.
"And were aggressively inside the condos, searching for people and knocking down fire," Asst. Chief Ralph Black said.
So while firefighters were struggling to keep the flames from spreading any further, they were struggling with something else too. The fact that it was a warm, muggy night, and they're battling a fire. Between the humidity, the fire, and all that gear, the weather can be almost as dangerous as the flames. Three firefighters had to go to the hospital for heat exhaustion and dehydration, despite protocols to keep them safe.
"We make sure we rotate crews and try to work them for a period of time and then we send in another crew to relieve them," Black said.
They kept the fire from getting to the two end units.
"Just smoke and water damage and so we have our things," Vezina said. "We don't have a place to live right now, but...."
But at least everyone got out. Those three firefighters should be fine. State and local fire marshals are investigating what started the fire.
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