Three firefighters were injured and eight people were forced from a home after a fire tore through a multi-family house on Tuesday morning.
According to officials, crews were called to the scene at 504 East Main St. around 1:30 a.m.
Firefighters said they were able to contain the fire to one room and extinguish the blaze quickly.
"They held it to the first floor itself which under the circumstances took quite a bit of effort for the companies that were here," said Steven Trella, Meriden fire marshal.
Homeowner Valentine Brissett told Eyewitness News once he was able to get out of the house, he grabbed a hose and tried to spray water into the windows. But, clearly it was no match for the intense fire and the first floor sustained heavy damage.
In process of fighting, fire had breached wall and came from behind the firefighters. The fire snuck up from behind firefighters, Meriden Fire Chief Ken Morgan said.
Officials said one firefighter was transported to the Bridgeport burn unit with first- and second-degree burns to his hands, legs and ears. The firefighter has since been released from the hospital, Trella said.
A second firefighter suffered a burn to his ear and a third male firefighter sustained an elbow injury.
Firefighters credited smoke detectors with saving the lives of those families.
“I thought the fire was just here, but then I noticed the smoke was coming up with the second and attic window," said Joanne Neville, a neighbor. "That was a major fire."
Four adults and four children were displaced by the fire, Trella said. The American Red Cross is putting up the displaced families in a nearby hotel.
"The most important thing is (that we are) alive that's the most important thing." Brissett said.
The cause remains under investigation, but the fire is believed to have started on the first floor.
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