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Massive blaze strikes north end Hartford home

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HARTFORD -- A fully-involved structure fire destroyed a home in the north end of the city early Saturday morning.

Firefighters were called to 230 Vine Street shortly before 5:30 a.m. in response to a large-scale fire billowing from the second floor and attic.

Fire crews were able to enter the property and fight back the flames at first, but increasingly poor stability inside the home forced firefighters to back down for a period of time. These brief delays were necessary for firefighters to avoid threats of falling debris and structural collapse caused by the intense heat.

Ian Joiner, who lives in the first story of the home, said a woman jumped from a window to escape the fire.

"He said my grandmother's stuck in her room the fires barricading her in we gotta get her out," Joiner said. "So, I went upstairs and as soon as the door was open there was a bunch of smoke and he was right, the fire had her held in and we couldn`t do nothing about it."

Joiner was one of several people who caught the woman who jumped from the second floor.

"She's 60 years old and she had enough courage to do it, and we caught her," he said.

Officials say she was transported to a Hartford-area hospital and is being treated for heat and smoke-related injuries. Her condition is unknown.

A firefighter was also hospitalized with non-life threatening wounds after suffering from burns and an injury to his knee, but has been released.

In addition to injuries, a set of live power lines snapped and fell across one of the fire trucks at one point which caused numerous new hazards for the firefighters. Eversource eventually shut down power to the area.

After several flare-ups, crews were finally able to bring the fire under their control just before 7 a.m.

Two families, including eight adults and five children, were displaced as a result of the blaze. The Hartford Fire Department Special Services Division and American Red Cross are assisting them at this time.

"We have nothing, nothing but the clothes on our back and our determination to go on," survivor Delores Keith said. "I was just glad everybody got out of the building, that everybody got out safely."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.