A community in Shelton is coming together to help those affected by a massive fire Sunday night.
The Shelton Fire Department said it's overwhelmed with donations for the 28 people left homeless by the massive fire.
Fire officials said they put out a plea for warm clothes like scarves, blankets, hats and quilts.
"Lady last night gave me all the clothes I have on," said Stephen Serrato, who escaped the flames.
Volunteers hope the donations will turn into gift cards or cash for the Red Cross because the victims still need personal belongings.
Several crews were called to assist firefighters in extinguishing the blaze, which broke out in the basement of the four-story building around 11:30 p.m. Sunday on Howe Avenue, also known as Route 110.
"You just woke up and there was a cloud of smoke and within 10 minutes, it was just more and more," said Adam Barbera, who was forced out by the flames.
Firefighters said the building collapsed about 30 minutes after they were called to the scene, but they were able to make numerous rescues of people inside before it came down.
"Someone grabbed me and dragged me out where the back door was," said John Quick, who lived on the third floor. "Someone held me up and I got in the ambulance."
The five people who were injured were brought to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Six businesses were also lost, according to fire officials.
The 125-year-old building has apartments on the upper levels and several businesses on the lower level.
Firefighters said they had difficulty accessing water because of a water main break and two frozen fire hydrants.
Crews also had to shut off a gas line that was buried under the debris of the collapsed building, and that was completed around 5 a.m.
Crews from Shelton, Derby, Ansonia, Seymour, Stratford, Milford and Monroe worked to put out the fire.
Many of the residents displaced by the fire were able "to alternate housing arrangements," American Red Cross officials said. The Red Cross is helping 28 residents who have been displaced by the fire with housing, food and clothing needs.
Investigators are working to determine a cause.
If you'd like to make a donation to the victims, the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. 1 Facebook page has been accepting donations. To donate, click here.
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Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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