NEWINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Four officers, a child and mother were taken to the hospital after a fire broke out at a lodge in Newington early Tuesday morning.
Newington police say an officer on patrol noticed heavy smoke coming from a room at the Grantmoor Motor Lodge around 4 a.m. They say more officers responded and rooms were evacuated.
“All of a sudden that’s when the police officers come running around both sides,” said witness Diane Fales.
The Newington Fire Chief says a mother and child were staying in the room that backed up to where the fire started. The officer knocked on the door to get them out, and that’s when other officers came to help.
“The other arriving police officers went door to door alerting the occupants,” said Newington police chief Chris Schroeder.
Fales said, “Officers were kicking the doors, slamming, get out of your room, get out of the room. You know, get away from the building.”
She continued, “Everyone’s in frantic mode, but some of the police officers said people were refusing to get out. They had to drag people out of their rooms.”
The fire chief called those officers heroes.
“That definitely saved lives. No doubt,” said Schroeder.
It took about 30 miuntes to put out the flames and even though firefighters heard smoke alarms. Investigators are trying to figure out if all of them worked at the time.
Fales said, “It was scary, you know ’cause if we had gone to bed just a few minutes sooner, the way the smoke was pouring in. God forbid, but everyone got out though, thank God.”
The Newington Fire Chief told News 8 that is unclear if all the smoke detectors were working this morning and it’s something officials are looking into. They say they are looking into whether or not the fire was electrical.
Officials say the investigation has revealed unrelated structural failures to the building. Due to these findings, the Newington Building Department issued an order to vacate the structure. 54 people have now been displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.