Fire Displaces Residents At Assisted Living Facility

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PLAINFIELD — Approximately 20 residents of an assisted living facility in Plainfield were temporarily displaced following a 2-alarm fire at the complex Friday afternoon.

The fire was reported at the Lawton House at 21 Babcock St. around 4 p.m., as temperatures plummeted toward record lows across the state.

No injuries were reported, fire officials said.

The fire severely damaged three apartment units, fire officials said. There was also smoke damage throughout the building.

“The fire went up through the first floor wall to the second and third floor wall and caused the damage on all three levels,” Chief Ralph Welles said.

The fire may have been started by someone trying to thaw water pipes in the first floor laundry room, Fire Marshal Paul Yellen said.

The displaced residents were taken to the Plainfield Town Hall where they were provided food and drink by the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army while town, police and fire department officials worked to find them safe relocation.

Four cats were also rescued from the building and taken to an animal shelter for the night.

“Everyone worked together to make sure the residents were safe, warm and well cared for,” said American Red Cross Senior Director of Emergency Services Sue Rochester Bolen. “The town of Plainfield has made this a tremendously smooth emergency response.”

Many residents were ultimately able to return to their apartments, according to the Red Cross. Seventeen people were provided with temporary housing by Lawton House building management.

“On the coldest day we’ve seen in years, this fire could have been tragic,” Bolen said. “But everyone worked together to make a real difference for the people affected by this emergency.”

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