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Conn. FFs faced water supply, mechanical problems at house fire

A lack of hydrants and an apparatus problem hindered firefighting efforts in East Windsor

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By Christine Dempsey, Caroline Tien
The Middletown Press

EAST WINDSOR, Conn. — A fire that left a resident critically injured this week was an accident, the town’s fire marshal said Friday.

Fire Marshal Richard Austin said he continues to work with the state police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit to determine the precise cause of the overnight blaze on East Road in the Broad Brook section of town.

Three adults, a woman and two men, were able to escape the flames, but two of them were injured — one seriously, Austin said. He said the most seriously injured man was in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital’s Connecticut Burn Center as of Thursday afternoon, with burns on 30 percent of his body.

Some pets died in the fire, although at least one cat survived, Austin said.

The house, part of which collapsed, appears to be a total loss, he and Assistant Chief Gerald Bancroft said.

Firefighters faced two challenges in extinguishing the fire: a lack of fire hydrants and a mechanical problem with a tanker truck from another town that was bringing in water. The mechanical problem, which neither fire official was familiar with, caused a five-minute delay in putting out the fire and allowed it to spread to the second floor, they said.

However, Bancroft said Thursday, the malfunction “did not contribute to the extensive damage as the fire had already consumed and extended deep into the walls and attic prior to our arrival.”

Bancroft said the three adults in the house at the time of the fire managed to evacuate on their own by the time responders arrived on the scene.

The injured person suffered a minor burn to the head and did not require transport, Bancroft said.

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