NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) – Multiple fire departments were called to respond to a fire that spread to two different houses on Saturday, displacing two families in New London.
At 9:30 a.m., all companies were dispatched to 65 Fuller St. Around 10:05 a.m., the New London Fire Department responded to an ongoing fire involving two structures.
Almira Ruidera, who lost her home in the fire, noted that “it’s saddening to see” but “I need to move forward from this.”
Ruidera told News 8 that she received the call from her mom on Saturday morning that the neighbor’s house was up in flames and she quickly raced home.
“As soon as I came like, right on that intersection, I’m like, I was just crying,” Ruidera said.
Ruidera said she saw the fire spread to their house and the woods nearby. While the NLFD said high winds posed a major challenge, with the help of multiple neighboring departments, they were able to get the fire under control in about two hours.
Though no civilians were reported injured, three firefighters were transported to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital to receive treatment for burns. All firefighters were able to return to work that day, fire officials said.
New London Mayor Michael Passaro noted that fires on a windy day become “a real, real hazard.” Passaro worked as a firefighter for more than 30 years and said the winds and dry conditions can make fires grow fast.
While a cause remains under investigation for this case, the fire marshal told News 8 that the fire started outside under the back porch.
“People should develop good habits when it comes to outdoor fires,” Passaro said. “They have to be contained, they have to be closely monitored.”
Ruidera, who is still waiting for answers, is picking up the pieces. She’s thankful she was able to save clothes, documents, and photos. She said that “a house is a house” and while it’s a big loss, it can be rebuilt. She’s doing all she can to stay strong for her mom.
“I’m the head of the household so I need to like, keep myself together just so I can try to have a clear head on what to do next and where to go after this.”
The fire marshal told News 8 there is a propane heater and grill in the area where the fire started.
Investigators will be back at the house on Monday.