Several families were displaced after an apartment fire in Naugatuck on Saturday morning.
The fire was reported at the Meadowland Estates on Horton Hill Road around 6:30 a.m.
"My neighbor across the street was screaming 'Fire! Get out! Get out!," tenant Stephanie Bergman said. "And there were flames coming out of the roof of his unit."
Everyone was able to get out of the buildings safely. However, officials said two people in the unit where the fire started were treated for smoke inhalation.
"We got out quickly," Bergman said. "And we were able to move away from the building, and then we came back to see if everyone else came out."
Fighting fires in these brutal temperatures added another layer of difficulty for firefighters.
"We've got people. Their gear is freezing. It makes their mobility tougher," Naugatuck Fire Chief Ellen Murray said. "The hoses are harder to move so you have to keep the water flowing, so the water doesn't freeze, and, of course, carrying the heavy equipment on the ice is difficult."
Murray said the fire started in the basement of one unit and quickly moved to the first and second floors. It then spread to neighboring apartments.
"The apartment that's on fire is right next to a fire stop, so it did not go into the next four apartments," Murray said. "But did spread through the four on the right."
Murray said while they dealt with a collapsed roof and stairwell, it was the conditions outside that they had to fight through.
Ice was built up in the complex parking lot. Murray said that made fighting this fire even more challenging and Bergman said she's grateful for the quick response.
"People were knocking on other people's units to make sure that everyone was out safely," Bergman said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Beacon Falls Fire Department assisted Naugatuck firefighters battling the apartment fire.
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