TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Firefighters in Torrington were busy Wednesday fighting three separate house fires. Police believe two of the fires were connected and arrested the individual allegedly linked to those incidents.
Kelly Murray, a witness to the first fire on 403 Torringford West Street and described it as fast moving and startling.
“I looked over and the car started a fire,” she said. “And it was over here in the left corner, I would say. It started so small and then it went up so fast. I’m on the phone with 911 and that other side of the house catches on fire…It was like fireworks. It made you jump. Just in different areas. Exploding.”
While firefighters battled the blaze on Torringford West, the call came in for 50 Clark Street. Some firefighters left the first scene to help out at the second one. Damage there was contained to the first and second floors. Officials report that a man had been on the second floor at the time, but made it out safely with no injuries.
Police say the residents of both Torringford West and Clark were related. Through interviews, detectives were able to account for all family members of both residences with the exception of 36-year-old Jose Castillo, who was alleged to have been in the residence on Torringford West a short time before the fire was reported.
Castillo was located in the area of 185 East Elm Street and was detained after a preliminary on-scene interview. Castillo is being charged with arson and reckless endangerment. He is being held on a $175,000 surety bond and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
A third fire was then reported on Summer Street.
The Torrington Fire Chief says it was a trying day for his small group of firefighters, but he’s grateful nobody was hurt.
“We did have to push the crews and ask them to step up more than we normally would like,” Chief Peter Towey said, “but they stepped up to the challenge. And because of that, I think we were able to have as positive an outcome as able.”
Some surrounding fire departments were also called in to help. The Fire Marshal’s office is now investigating the cause of both fires.