While most families who were forced out of their homes following a fire at their Hartford apartment building are staying in shelters, some residents were allowed to return.
Firefighters said 86 adults and 19 children in the 136-unit apartment building, Lafayette Arms, were housed until further noticed at shelters, including Pope Park Recreational Center in Hartford following a large, quickly moving fire.
Seventy-four of the units were deemed habitable. Those residents were allowed to return home.
When firefighters arrived, they said they found heavy smoke and fire showing from the third floor. Their visibility inside the building was zero and the heat was described as intense. They had to crawl through the halls to search for people.
Eyewitness News spoke with one resident who said she is fortunate to be allowed home after spending a night with relatives.
“They have a red side that has been damaged and they have a white side that people can go their house because it's not that severe," said resident Thelma Chaney.
The fire affected several units on the third floor in the 4-story building on Saturday evening.
“I went into the hallway, gray, just like black cloud, I knew to do that, so I got my boy and I just started knocking on doors, and we started evacuating the building," Lafayette Arms resident Ken Ross described of the scene yesterday to Eyewitness News.
Several people suffered burns in the fire, and at least two are still hospitalized. Fire officials reported four to five people in need of medical care.
No firefighters were hurt.
Yet, Chaney said while some of her furniture suffered smoke burns, she is grateful to be home.
"I'm very relieved, yes I am," Chaney said.
More residents could be allowed back inside as early as tomorrow. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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