Fires keep borough crews busy

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BY ANDREAS YILMA

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — Borough firefighters had a busy time Easter weekend after a few fires broke out and 17 residents were displaced.

CONTRIBUTED
Naugatuck firefighters were on the scene to put out a fire at 162 Miller Drive on April 8.

The Naugatuck Fire Department was initially dispatched to a brush fire at 85 Candee Road shortly before 2 p.m. on April 7 where a fire started from a burn pit. The combination of dead leaves, brush, wind and dry conditions started the fire, which was about 100 feet from the home, Deputy Fire Chief Ken Hanks said

Hanks said firefighters put out the fire, which also involved tires and mattresses, in a few hours. The street department had to cut a couple of trees down as well. Six out of the eight total fire fighters on shift responded to that fire.

“A fire that shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” Hanks said.

Around the same time, there was a report of another fire at a five-unit condominium complex at 111 Wooster St. When Hanks arrived on that scene, there was a report of a person trapped in the basement, Hanks said.

Naugatuck firefighter Cody Brennan and Beacon Hose Company No. 1 firefighter Tim Hanks entered into the basement and guided out the 65-year-old man who was disorientated due to smoke and heat. He was transported to a local hospital, treated and released. There were no other injuries, Hanks said.

Officials presume the fire originated in Unit D, where the man was located, and spread through the attic space to Unit E. The back of the building was on fire.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control by 2:50 p.m.

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Naugatuck firefighters respond to afire at 111 Wooster St. on April 7.

Hanks said firefighters had to cut the power to the whole building in order for inspectors to make sure the wiring was safe for units A, B and C. Once the wiring was deemed safe, those residents were able to return as there was only smoke and odor damage to those units.

The man who was rescued lives in Unit D with his wife and daughter. A man, his wife and two teenage sons live in Unit E.

The following day, Naugatuck firefighters were dispatched to a single-family house at 162 Miller Drive just before 2 p.m. Firefighters arrived to find heavy flames at the back of the house, Hanks said.

Hanks said the home’s owner and his son self-evacuated. Firefighters got the fire under control by 2:37 p.m. The house was devastated, except for one room.

“The house was destroyed by fire with one exception,. The only room that didn’t have any smoke, fire or water damage was one bedroom,” Hanks said.

The door was closed to the bedroom.

Firefighters had to do overhauling and tear open the ceiling as there was fire in the walls as well. It is not sure if the fire started inside or outside the house, Hanks said.

The family was expected to stay with relatives out of town.

The Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of both fires.

The borough received mutual aid from various local fire departments including the Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department, Beacon Hose Company No. 1, the Volunteer Fire Department of Prospect and Waterbury Fire Department. Middlebury covered the headquarters on Friday and Beacon Hose covered the station on Saturday.

Hanks said the volume of fire calls was unusual — the borough has had three building fires in a week. There was a four-bay garage fire on Spring Street on April 1.

There were no vehicles involved or reported injuries. The borough typically averages one or two fires a month.