Firefighters remained at the scene of a house fire on Thursday, hours after it led to four of them being hospitalized.
The fire broke out Wednesday night on Lounsbury Street in Waterbury and left dozens of people homeless.
"I would have never thought it would happen to us," said Heri Santiago, who lost his home.
Santiago said he stood across the street and looked at what little is left of his home where he lived with his parents and family.
"We don't have nothing! We have to start from scratch now, and all the memories we had in the house," he told Eyewitness News.
Two of the four firefighters remained in the hospital with cardiac issues as of Thursday, according to officials. They're expected to be released later in the day on Thursday. The other two were already released.
The Waterbury Fire Department told Eyewitness News that it took its crews more than four hours to get the flames under control on Wednesday night. The initial call came in around 6:30 p.m.
Officials said the fire actually started somewhere in Charitza Santiago's building, where she and her husband were making dinner.
"He saw the smoke and he figured that by throwing a little water on it, it would go out, but it was already getting too big," Charitza Santiago said.
The fire spread quickly from one building to the next. It didn't take long before much of the block was up in flames.
"You don't expect to have four buildings of this size burn at the same time," said Chief David Martin, Waterbury Fire Department. "Water became a little scarce, as you would expect. But the guys did a tremendous job managing all four fires."
See photos from the scene here.
"I watch those California wildfires and you're like how does it get out of control so quickly? But right here in the city, it can happen," said John Kizis of Waterbury.
It was a difficult and dangerous situation for firefighters who said they were stretched thin. They were battling a water crisis from fighting four fires at once.
Thirty-two people were forced out of their homes.
Twelve units in the multi-family homes were destroyed, according to fire officials. Eight of them had people in them when the fire started.
Eyewitnesses said some neighbors ran back into the burning buildings to make sure everyone was safely out.
Eyewitness News was told that a 15-year-old girl is being credited with saving two young children.
By Thursday morning, most of the families that were forced to leave have been left with nothing.
"I feel like crying right now because I'm thinking of all the stuff that the little kids are losing," said Deyly Algerin of Waterbury.
"We lost everything," Santiago said. "[What] we got ain't nothing now. I'm not worried about my stuff or my mother's stuff or my father's stuff. Just my kids' stuff. They have to go to school. Now they don't got stuff for school."
Everyone was able to make it out of the home without being hurt. The homes are expected to be demolished.
The American Red Cross said it is helping the families.
Investigators are still looking to pinpoint a cause.
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