Heavy fire rips through Bristol apartment, kills 1

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BRISTOL--A two-alarm fire in a Bristol condo complex on Monday afternoon left one person dead, according to Bristol Mayor Kenneth B. Cockayne.

It happened at the Redstone Commons condo complex, located on Redstone Hill Road. Heavy fire enveloped the first floor, but it was knocked down quickly when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Condo owner Adam Hebenstreit said his young son summoned him to the window when the boy saw a police officer and firefighter running.

"The fireman was at the front door. I don’t think he even got the front door open and the flames just burst through the door and it just came right out like a big ball of fire," said Hebenstreit, who quickly evacuated his kids because he was afraid of residual smoke.

His wife came home from work, scared. "Well, my first thought was did something happen to our unit? Is everyone okay?" said Melissa Hebenstreit.

The couple is not sure who died. The mayor said he is not releasing the name, age or gender until further notice.

"They’re all pretty nice. I basically say, 'Hi, how are ya?' They’re all nice people," said Redstone Commons resident Dave Gorack of his neighbors. "The building can be replaced, a human being can’t."

Mrs. Hebenstreit isn't sure how she'll explain the situation to her children. "It’s sad. I feel awful," she said.

The family and Gorack said the State Fire Marshal asked neighbors to leave the premises while they inspected nearby units for smoke damage and the source of the flames.

As late as 6 hours after the fatal fire, investigators could be seen taking photos in and around Redstone Commons, including pictures of utility poles.