The scene was chaotic at first. Firefighters responded to a broken water line at 446 Howe Avenue, fire officials said, only to find smoke and flames. The first crews entered the building to help tenants get out.
“There were 22 people on the upper floors, and we were just yelling for them to get out and showing lights,” Fire Marshall Jim Tortora said.
Some residents, hampered by the smoke, crawled along the hallway floors.
“They weren’t sure where to go so a couple guys crawled in and pulled them out to safety,” Tortora said.
Hours after the building had collapsed and the fire was out, community members flocked to the Shelton firehouse, dropping off donations for the displaced tenants.
“To help out, make sure everyone is taken care of,” resident Collean Tupin said.
Donations can still be made to the Echo Hose Hook and Ladder Company, 379 Coram Ave., Shelton, CT, 06484, or by phone: 203-924-4241.