BY ANDREAS YILMA REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
NAUGATUCK — At least 11 borough residents were displaced from six units after a fire damaged the 18-unit Southwood Apartments complex May 25 at 933 Rubber Ave.
One female resident from the unit where the fire broke out was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, Naugatuck Deputy Fire Chief Ken Hanks said.
Liza Beauchamp, a mother of four children ranging in age from 2 to 8, was displaced by the fire. She said she has been living at Southwood Apartments for six years and the fire was horrible.
“Now my kids have nowhere to live,” Beauchamp said. “My 4-year-old is crying because she wants to go back in the house.”
Tenants of the other 12 units also could end up being displaced due to water damage, said Fran Dambowsky, the town’s emergency management director.
Naugatuck firefighters responding to a call of a kitchen fire at about 3:30 p.m. arrived to find flames showing from one of the units, Hanks said.
A total of 25 firefighters, including crews from Waterbury, Prospect and Beacon Falls, helped keep the fire from spreading beyond the six units. Of those six, one had fire damage, and the other five had smoke and water damage, Hanks said.
“We’re able to get water on the fire quickly to keep it from spreading,” he said. “A fire like this takes a tremendous amount of firefighters. To keep it from spreading, we had to open up all the walls and pull the ceilings out.”
Beauchamp said her renter’s insurance will allow her to try to find a temporary residence with a kitchen, but she is hopeful she can salvage something from her home.
Kelly Grant, the American Red Cross senior director of disaster services for Western Connecticut, said the nonprofit will provide financial assistance to the residents of the six units, but it may need to work with the borough on sheltering and feeding if the residents of the other 12 units are displaced.