BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — A massive three-alarm fire tore through a stretch of houses on Hanover Street in Bridgeport Friday afternoon, leading firefighters to rescue three people and a dog. Three homes are completely destroyed, and fourth is severely damaged. The spreading fire caused neighbors to panic.
“He had just came home from school and was getting a snack he smelled smoke, looked out the kitchen window on the side of the house and saw smoke,” said Pia Alston-Carr, describing her son’s actions. “He threw his pants on grabbed phone and called me.”
Alston-Carr’s 13-year-old son had just gotten home from school when the fire started next door, quickly spreading to their home, then two others. In moments, all they had was lost.
“I just really feel like i’m in shock, it’s just devastating,” Alston-Carr said. “(I’ve) had a hard life, I’ve been homeless before. I struggled to get this apartment.”
The fire started at 350 Hanover Street, and that structure soon collapsed. It was the scene of a fire two years ago, and the building was under renovation from that damage.
Crews had a hard time battling the blaze, calling it labor intensive because of many difficult circumstances.
“The snow has hampered our operations,” said Deputy Chief Dominick Carfi. “The streets are narrow and there are a tremendous amount of overhead wires that prevented us from putting up aerial operations.”
In the aftermath, families are left to pick up the pieces and move forward, thankful that no one was injured.
“God has his reasons, but I have to start over again,” Alston-Carr said. “I know the most important thing is that my son got out safe and I’m grateful to God for that, but it’s just hard.”
Eleven people are now without a home. The Red Cross is helping them.
“We have a warming center that we opened up at a local school, Cezar Batallia School,” said Bridgeport’s Deputy Communications Director Tim Hammill. “There are about 21 people who are there, mostly for the people who are without power during the fire to keep them warm.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.