Three firefighters suffered minor injuries while attempting to extinguish a stubborn apartment fire in Hartford.
According to fire officials, crews were called to the scene at 619 Park St. after the three-alarm blaze broke out around 11 p.m. on Monday.
“It was a difficult fire to find there was smoke in a lot of different areas of the building,” Hartford Deputy Fire Chief Michael Juda said.
Fire officials said the fire appears to have started on the first floor, but the exact cause is under investigation.
The building had a "Grab N Go" market on the first floor and apartments overhead it, Captain Helene Lynch said. There are multiple businesses in the building as well.
By the time firefighters arrived, they said they found heavy smoke filling the rooms as the fire rose to the roof.
Smoke alarms helped alert those living in the upstairs floors and residents escaped unharmed.
Officials said 13 families were displaced because of the fire.
Roughly 60 firefighters were called to work the scene. Juda said it took them two hours to get the fire under control. Five hours later, flames were still bursting through the roof and crews spent all morning dealing with hot spots that wouldn’t quit.
"It's hidden fire," Juda said. "It's all over the building. [We're] still chasing it, putting it out."
Crews from East Hartford and West Hartford covered the rest of the capital city while crews were on the job.
People in the building as well as two adjacent buildings were evacuated as a precaution. A temporary shelter was set up at the Pope Park Recreation Center. The Red Cross and Hartford Support Serviced are assisting.
Even though no civilians were injured, Juda said three firefighters suffered minor injuries. They had to be treated for exhaustion.
“The heat and humidity drains the guys faster, and it causes the smoke to lay close down to the ground makes breathing harder," Juda said.
Rafael Brito’s Grab N Go convenience store which was deemed a complete loss.
“Ugh, that's devastating and crazy,” Brito said.
Brito said he spent a lifetime saving enough money to buy his two businesses. One was spared, but he’s at a loss for words over the other one.
“Now, I don't know what I'm going to do,” Brito said.
The city fire marshal is investigating what sparked the fire. That cause is still unknown.
The 600 block of Park Street remained closed Tuesday morning. Drivers were advised to seek alternate routes.
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