Firefighter hospitalized after Naugatuck blaze, family displaced

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Naugatuck firefighters battle a blaze at a two-family home at 49 Andrew Ave. on Tuesday, May 2 morning. One firefighter was injured and five tenants were displaced, including a 6-week-old baby. Contributed

By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News

NAUGATUCK — One firefighter was hospitalized with serious injuries and five tenants, including a baby, were displaced from a fire at a two-family home on Tuesday, May 2 morning at 49 Andrew Ave.

Captain William Drew suffered a significant leg injury while he was in the home trying to battle the fire.

Drew, who will be out of work for some time, began the program where read stories to children and posting videos on the Naugatuck Firefighters’ facebook page during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020.

Drew had to be carried from the second floor of the three-story home and taken to Waterbury Hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, Deputy Fire Chief Ken Hanks said.

“He’s going to be out of work for a while,” he said.

Naugatuck Fire Department was dispatched at 9:35 a.m. and arrived on scene about two minutes later. Firefighters had the blaze under control in about an hour, Hanks said.

“On arrival they had heavy smoke on the second floor and the walk-up attic,” he said. “Everyone was out of the building when we arrived.”

One of the tenants is a 6-week-old baby from the first floor, Hanks said.

There was a significant amount of fire in the third-floor attic area. Firefighters had to create a hole in the roof to ventilate the smoke and fire before attacking the blaze.

The roof remained intact and was not burned off, Hanks noted.

“There’s very little to salvage on the third floor,” he said.

The first floor sustained a lot of water and some smoke damage, while the second floor had a lot of both. The house is uninhabitable and fire officials contacted American Red Cross to help the residents with housing assistance, Hanks said.

The fire appeared to start on the third floor and the cause of the fire is under investigation, he said.

Hanks said the firefighters did a good job battling the blaze, especially considering the injury to one of their own.

Waterbury Fire Department and Beacon Hose Company No. 1 from Beacon Falls were on scene to assist. The Prospect and Oxford fire crews provided station coverage for the borough.

“We’re just very grateful that our surrounding communities helped us out,” Hanks said.