New Britain Police and Fire officials responded to a 2nd alarm fire at an apartment building on Allen Street on Friday afternoon into the evening. The call came in at around 3:10 p.m.
All 27 New Britain firefighters were called to fight the fire. The Hartford, West Hartford, and Newington fire departments reported to the scene too. The Connecticut State police arson team reported to the scene with a dog that can sniff for accelerants.
Some residents had to jump out of windows, 20 to 30 feet in the air, to escape the fire. One of the stairwells was on fire when residents tried to access the fire escape.
Joann Herrera lives on the third floor, and was one of the residents hanging out a window to escape. Fire and smoke was burning through her apartment behind her, with railings and concrete below.
“I am trying to jump out the window, but I couldn’t, the fear of breaking my neck or breaking my legs, I just tried to wait, to see if somebody came,” Herrera said.
There are no reported injuries. It’s still early in the investigation but officials believe the fire started in a stairwell, which is an unusual place for a fire to start.
The Red Cross reports 52 people, 20 families, have been displaced from their homes and is helping the residents with a recovery plan.
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