4 families displaced after fire tears through New Britain buildi - WFSB 3 Connecticut

4 families displaced after fire tears through New Britain building

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

Days before Thanksgiving, four New Britain families were left homeless days after an early Tuesday morning fire.  

The fire was reported at a three story building located at 412 South Main St. just before 4 a.m.

“I just started screaming smoke, smoke, everybody started coming out fast,” Joseph Rodriguez, who escaped fire, said.

Cold and thoroughly exhausted, Rodriguez described the ferocious fire that woke him up.

Firefighters rushed to the south main street building, arriving in about three minutes. Crews were able to get the blaze under control before 6 a.m.

“Four families inside at the time of the fire they were alerted by smoke detectors by what we know and they were all out of the building upon our arrival,” New Britain Fire Chief Thomas Ronalter said.

 According to officials, no injuries were reported. However, some pets died in the fire.

"I just hear my neighbor screaming in the stairs," tenant Carmen Gonzalez said. "He was screaming at his mother, it’s a fire it’s a fire.”

With the fire making up to the woman's third floor apartment, the hallway became consumed with smoke.

"I ran inside the house. I grabbed my kids, Gonzalez said. "They were sleeping and I tell my boyfriend we have to get out.”

Ronalter said the building is home to a business on the first floor and apartments above.

Rodriguez said he and his elderly mother have nothing left.  

The American Red Cross is helping all 10 people, which is four families, displaced by the fire with temporary lodging and clothing.

Ronalter told Eyewitness News the fire does not appear to be suspicious and have ruled out arson. Troopers from the state fire marshal's office brought in dogs on Tuesday morning to sniff the area, but found nothing. 

Fire officials said the fire appears to have started in the rear of the building, but the cause is unknown. 

Gonzalez is both upset and thankful for her neighbor Joseph, the man who warned them about the fire.

"If it was not because of him we would die because no alarm come out," Gonzalez said. 

Firefighters said there were multiple alarms in the buildings that sounded though Gonzalez said the one in her apartment did not.

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