More than a dozen New Haven families are still homeless after a fire ripped through their condos on the day after Christmas.
The fire broke out at the Harbour Landing condo complex, located on Harbour Close on Monday afternoon. The flames spread quickly through a building that houses more than 30 families and destroyed at least 13 units.
The American Red Cross is helping nine families after the fire at a condo complex in New Haven on Monday. In addition to that, 19 people have been told their homes will have to be demolished due to the damage.
Some people were being let back in their homes on Tuesday evening.
At around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the fire had rekindled. The fire chief believes it happened when crews turned the power back on.
The cleanup had begun on Tuesday at the complex, for people like Ray Sirry, who smelled smoke on Tuesday and warned three neighbors and called 911.
“The smoke was so heavy I couldn't even see,” he said.
The fire burned for nearly 12 hours.
On Tuesday, Sirry went back to assess the damage and was able to save some cherished items.
“There were photos that can't be replaced, they were of our children when they were young, so I'm glad they have it,” he said.
Most of their belongings are gone, and their cat Mickey was missing, but on Tuesday evening he was found by fire crews.
Rick Fontana, New Haven's deputy director of Emergency Management has been helping the victims save whatever they can. They say it's been emotional.
“We have Christmas presents in there and children certainly were crying that their Christmas presents were gone,” Fontana said.
Fire investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire.
Firefighters say it was a difficult blaze to extinguish because the condo complex backs up to the Long Island Sound, so it’s a dead end which made water pressure a significant issue.
Two people were rushed to the hospital but they are expected to be OK. One person suffered minor smoke inhalation.
The American Red Cross provided the affected families with comfort kits, and personal care items and helping them with a recovery plan to get back on their feet.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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