Mystic man says he’s lucky to be alive after large fire

Man survives large fire in Mystic
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 7:30 PM EST
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MYSTIC, CT (WFSB) - One man said he’s lucky to be alive after a fire burned down a marina and a home in Mystic.

He said he’s forever grateful.

Among all of the ashes and rubble, this house is still standing.

It’s not inhabitable after the fire, but the man who called it home said he wouldn’t be alive today, if it weren’t for his dog that alerted him.

“I was asleep upstairs on the second floor and the dog alerted me to the smoke and I was able to throw on pants and shirt, grab my boots and get out the front door,” said Mark Fernandez, the homeowner.

Two minutes later, Mark said his home was consumed by flames.

He lived there for about seven years, happily watching what boats were going in and out of the marina warehouse, where the fire started.

But since Sunday’s fire, he said even sleeping is hard.

“I don’t really have the tools to let it go yet, but that’ll come. Still hard, can’t sleep, but all of that will change,” Mark said.

Mark said there’s no use in moping around about the home he lost. Instead, he’s taking a different approach.

“We don’t experience things like this often and we’ve come complacent and busy in our daily lives and sometimes it takes something to realize how lucky we are and the wonderful people we’re surrounded by,” said Mark.

Mark said he couldn’t be any more grateful for the support the community has given him since losing everything.

A GoFundMe was started to help him recover, and he thanks the first responders for their quick response.

Eyewitness News asked him what’s next.

“I’m not sure, I’m going to go day by day. I got my dog here and my beautiful girlfriend and I went to the doc yesterday and he checked me out. Just head up, chin up, gratitude and appreciation,” Mark said.

Mark said for the time being he’ll be staying with his girlfriend.

As for the fire itself, Chief Manfredi re-emphasized Wednesday that the investigation is going to take days, possibly longer, to find out what caused this fire.

They’re bringing in equipment to start removing debris and crews are cleaning up the area, including a playground of any asbestos.