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Conn. firefighter injured while battling house fire

When crews arrived on scene, the blaze had already engulfed the attic area and spread across the length of the home


By Jessica Lerner
New Haven Register

HAMDEN, Conn. — A firefighter was injured Monday in a blaze that destroyed a home on Garvin Road, officials said.

About 23 firefighters, along with police and ambulances, responded to the fully-involved fire at 220 Garvin Road Monday afternoon.

A man, who was not identified, was in the garage working on a car when the fire started, but he was able to get out safely, Fire Chief David Beradesca said. The man’s wife arrived on scene later. One firefighter was hurt on scene, officials said.

When firefighters arrived at about 1 p.m., they observed “heavy fire” and smoke coming from the garage area. Beradesca said the blaze had already engulfed the attic area and spread across the length of the home.

A neighbor, who did not wish to give her name, said she had never seen anything go up so fast.

“I turned around and all of a sudden I saw flames,” she said Monday afternoon. “That’s when I yelled in the house, ‘Bob, call the Fire Department.’”

Bob Mordecai, the neighbor’s husband and a retired fire liutenant, said he was in the basement on the computer when his wife yelled for him to come outside.

“I came running out, and I saw it was fully involved. I told [my wife] to make sure [the male resident]’s not in the house, and I went in and called 911,” he said.

The firefighters did “a great job” attacking the fire, Mordecai said, but the fire had a “head start.”

Along with windy conditions, the firefighters had to be called out of the home at one point due to the heavy volume of the flames, Beradesca said. A section of the roof also collapsed. However, after the firefighters regrouped, they were able to extinguish the blaze using both water and foam, the chief said.

After extinguishing the fire, firefighters remained on scene to checkthe house and make sure it had not spread. Beradesca said the department was expected to stay at the scene for hours. While it will be the building inspector’s final decision, Beradesca said the house most likely will have to be condemned.

According to a release later Monday, Hamden Fire Marshal Brian Dolan determined the cause of the fire to be accidental.

“While (the homeowner) was working in his garage, gasoline vapor was ignited by a portable propane heater,” the release said. “A quick attempt by the homeowner to control the fire with an extinguisher was unsuccessful. The fire spread up the inside walls and entered the attic spaces through a pull-down hatch.”

The couple next door lamented the fire, expressing their sadness over the timing as the holidays right are around the corner and describing the affected homeowners as “good neighbors.”

The two residents of the home are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

 Copyright 2017 New Haven Register

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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