Fire breaks out in Hartford's North End - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Fire breaks out in Hartford's North End

Posted: Updated:
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Many families are turning on the heat for the first time as we approach winter and that may be what sparked a fast-moving fire in Hartford's North End on Thursday morning.

The fire broke out just before 6 a.m. on Edgewood Street.

"She was like, ‘wake up, there's a fire,'" resident Latifah Black said. "I look out the window and there are lights and popping sounds. I grabbed my kids, my sister and my brother and ran out the house."

Good thing, too. The massive fire tore through the top floor of the multi-family home, and was visible from our Hartford iCam.

"It was terrifying," she said. "My first intention was to grab my kids and forget everything else."

Black's family lives on the first floor of the home that caught fire. Officials said the second floor was vacant and the landlord and his family lived on the third floor.

Fire officials said when they arrived at the scene, the rear porches were engulfed in flames and the fire was spreading fast.

Everyone was able to make it out of the home safely, but two firefighters needed to be brought to a local hospital when debris from the roof fell on top of them.

In total, two families, seven adults and four children were displaced by the fire and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but officials said they are looking into the possibility that a space heater may have sparked the blaze.

"I don't know if that played a role," Hartford fire Capt. James McLoughlin said. "But I do know that that's something the fire marshal's office will take into consideration when determining the cause and origin of the fire."

The following tips on space heater safety were released by Hartford Fire Department:

  • Maintain a 36-inch clearance between the heater and combustible materials, such as bedding, furniture, wall coverings or other flammable items.
  • Do not leave a heater unattended.
  • Electric heaters should be inspected prior to use. Check the cord for fraying, cracking and look for broken wires or signs of overheating in the device itself.
  • Use only heavy-duty extension cords marked with a No. 14 gauge or larger wire.
  • If the heater plug has a grounding prong, use only a grounding (three wire) extension cord.
  • Never run the heater cord (or any cord) under rugs or carpeting.
  • Liquid Fuel-Powered Devices (kerosene or oil heat)
  • Never use gasoline or any other substitute fuel.
  • Allow the heater to cool down prior to refueling.

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