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Conn. first responders face flashover at welfare check

Bloomfield police checking on the well-being of a person found a working house fire

By Christine Dempsey
New Haven Register

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. — A 21-year-old man died in a house fire Sunday night, officials said.

Firefighters were called to the blaze on Alexander Road, on the Windsor line, at 11:12 p.m., said Willie Jones, chief of the Blue Hills Fire Department. They encountered heavy flames on the left side of the raised ranch, he said.

A crew began to knock down the fire from the inside, but there was a flashover, or a sudden explosion of flames, Jones said. The fire also had burned through the stairs, he said.

The crew was ordered out of the house, Jones said.

“It wasn’t really deemed safe for anyone to go in” at that point, he said.

Once the bulk of the fire was knocked down, firefighters were able to go back inside. That is when they found the body of a man in the basement bedroom, Jones said. Officials did not immediately release the man’s name on Monday.

It took about a half-hour to get the fire under control so that it stopped spreading, he said.

No one else is believed to have been in the house at the time of the fire, which appears to have started in the downstairs bedroom and traveled upstairs, Jones said.

Around 10:30 p.m. , someone came to the Bloomfield Police Department and said they were concerned about the well-being of a 21-year-old at the house, Police Capt. Stephen Hajdasz said. Police decided to go to the home and found the house “fully engulfed in flames,” he said.

Officers tried to get into the home, but were unable to do so, he said.

Jones said he didn’t know for sure if anyone else had been living in the house, which he said is uninhabitable.

The Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit of the Connecticut State Police is helping local fire marshals and police with the investigation of what cause the fire, Jones said.

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