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Conn. crews respond to mayday call, rescue firefighter from second-story window

Members of four Norwich FDs and the Mohegan tribe responded

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By Claire Bessette
The Day

NORWICH, Conn. — Firefighters from four city departments and the Mohegan tribe extinguished a fire Wednesday night at a two-story, two-family house at 112 Norwich Ave. in Taftville.

One Norwich city firefighter was rescued from a second-story window using a ladder after he put out a distress call, Taftville Volunteer Fire Chief Timothy Jencks said. Jencks did not have information on the reason for the distress call, but the firefighter was uninjured.

He had entered the house from the front on Norwich Avenue and went up the main staircase, which leads to a large living room, before putting out a mayday call, Jencks said. Firefighters from the Yantic and Taftville volunteer departments put a ladder up to the window to assist the firefighter to escape, Jencks said.

Norwich Fire Battalion Chief Marc Benjamin, in a statement, said two occupants of the home were displaced by the fire.

Benjamin said prior to when firefighters entered the building a pump on the city’s engine had failed, causing a slight delay in fire suppression. Taftville’s engine was redirected from water supply to pumping water to hoses. Yantic, Occum and Taftville firefighters all assisted in establishing a secure water supply and an interior fire attack was launched, Benjamin said.

The fire was called in at 8:05 p.m. and started on the right side of the house on the first floor. By 9:50 p.m., the fire was still not fully out, with firefighters attacking the exterior only. Long ladders from Norwich city and Taftville departments aimed water at the roof at the front and rear of the house. Jencks said the 1926 house has no fire stops, allowing the fire to spread to the attic.

The fire was under control by 10:19 p.m., Benjamin said.

Crews from the Taftville, Yantic and Occum volunteer departments, the Norwich paid department and Mohegan Tribal department responded, along with Norwich police, American Ambulance and Norwich Public Utilities, which shut off power to the immediate vicinity.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the city’s fire marshal’s office.

Norwich Avenue- Route 12 was closed from the Route 97 intersection to the area near the former Starrwood Market to accommodate the fire trucks and hoses strung out along the road.


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