Hartford building collapses following fire

(Image courtesy of Hartford Fire Department Executive Officer Lt. Raul Ortiz)
(Image courtesy of Hartford Fire Department Executive Officer Lt. Raul Ortiz)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford fire officials say an abandoned building on Babcock Street collapsed after enduring a heavy fire overnight into Tuesday morning.

Hartford firefighters responded to a 2-alarm fire at 169-161 Babcock Street, after it was called in at 1:17 a.m. Hartford Fire Department Executive Officer Lt. Raul Ortiz says that the first crews on-scene reported “heavy fire blowing out of the second and third floor windows and porches.” He says crews went all in, and were on “defensive operations from the onset.”

(Image courtesy of Hartford Fire Department Executive Officer Lt. Raul Ortiz)
(Image courtesy of Hartford Fire Department Executive Officer Lt. Raul Ortiz)

By 3:30 a.m., crews reported that it was largely knocked down. Still, Lt. Ortiz says that “the structural integrity of the building was compromised,” and the building would have to come down. A building official was called in to determine when this might happen, and determined a “collapse zone” should be established immediately. The building collapsed around 4:30 a.m., and no firefighters were injured in the process.

The three-story, multi-unit building was vacant. The fire marshal is on-scene, but Lt. Ortiz says it’s unlikely they will gain insight into the cause of the fire, given the building was deemed unsafe early on.

Babcock Street is closed as crews continue to work.

(Image courtesy of Hartford Fire Department Executive Officer Lt. Raul Ortiz)
(Image courtesy of Hartford Fire Department Executive Officer Lt. Raul Ortiz)

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