Waterbury resident warns neighbors about overnight fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Waterbury resident warns neighbors about overnight fire

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WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

A fire inside a vacant home in Waterbury spread to the house next door leaving more than a dozen people without a place to stay early Thursday morning.

Crews were called to a fire at a home on Dikeman Street just after midnight Thursday.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News one man's quick thinking helped get everyone out safely in the middle of the night.

"You could see the flames it was coming out the windows," said Andre Watts of Waterbury. "The glass was busting."

Watts said he was returning home when he saw the fire and jumped into action.

"I heard my boyfriend outside screaming fire, fire," said eyewitness Crystal Bennett. "I opened up the window and he was next door banging on his friends door."

The flames quickly spread to a three-family home next door where 14 people including five kids were inside. The intense heat started to melt the siding.

"I'm just glad I was there," Watts said. "Because normally this is a quiet street, so everybody would have been asleep."

Everyone got out safely with no serious injuries.

The residents of the home are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

Firefighters spent hours working to get the flames out and making sure all of the hot spots in the vacant home were no longer smoking. They say the vacant home will have to be knocked down.

Walsh Elementary School is right across the street from where the fire occurred. That made for some quick rearranging to make sure all of the buses had a place to go.

"They first had the roads closed, but they had opened them up again so the buses could get in so the kids could get into the building," said principal Dr. DeNorris Crosby.

Parents learned about the fire as they brought their children to school.

"I still can't believe it, right next to the school," said parent Pete Ciarcia. "It's crazy."

Waterbury's fire chief told Eyewitness News the fire is suspicious and the city's fire marshal is investigating to figure out what started those flames.

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