New Haven home destroyed by fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven home destroyed by fire

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A New Haven family is without a home after it was destroyed by a fire Sunday morning.

Responders were dispatched to Grafton Street and Downing Street shortly before 5 a.m.

The fire was under control in less than half an hour, but firefighters said the home was a total loss.

Five people were displaced, including homeowner Victoria Wiley.

Wiley said she has already survived two fires, with this as her third.

She said no one was home when the fire started. Her mother lives across the street and witnessed the home going up in flames.

"My mother called all hysterical, my sister all hysterical...'The house is gone! The house is gone!'" said Wiley.

Wiley watched as investigators looked through the remains of a home she had spent 18 years in.

"When you've been in a place so long raising kids an grandkids and then to come in and see it like this, you just kind of freeze," said Wiley.

Matthew Marcarelli, Chief of Operations with the New Haven Fire Department said the home was quickly engulfed by the fire.

"We had fire from the first and second floors, on all sides of the building. It was heavily involved," said Marcarelli.

He said weather conditions, such as rising temperatures, made battling the fire especially difficult.

"You're already talking about going in with a hundred pounds of extra gear on, so it's very difficult for the firefighters to rehabilitate," said Marcarelli.

Firefighters had to make sure they were hydrated. Other precautions were also taken, such as rotating out firefighters.

Officials said it took 25 minutes to put out the fire. The cause is still being investigated.

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