HARTFORD -- “He said I’m going to burn the building down and burn you guys down with it,” said Sonia Tolo.
Tolo said she was sitting outside of 232 South Marshall Street in Hartford Saturday evening with her aunt , 52-year-old Aida Acosta, when a neighbor started threatening to light the building on fire in order to kill himself and tenants inside.
“My aunt took my sister to the bathroom to use the bathroom,” Tolo said. “By the time we got out the building was already on fire.”
“He wanted to commit,” said Aida Acosta. “...because he told me.“
Tolo said other neighbors saw the man light a grill on fire and throw it near her aunt’s apartment.”
“He lit a grill and let it burn a little bit and then he threw it behind my aunts porch.”
Fox 61 News has not confirmed the allegations with police or fire officials. However, fire officials say the reports are being investigated.
“That’s all information that will be investigated by the fire Marshall’s office,” said Lt. Brian Thompson of the Hartford Fire Department.
Thompson said the fire started around 7:20 PM Saturday at 232 South Marshall Street Before spreading to a red multi family home next door at 240 South Marshall Street.
Red Cross officials have said that 12 families, 19 adults and three children, were displaced. The organization is assisting those impacted by the fire.
“At this point I would expect a majority of people in the building of origin to be displaced as well as all the people in the multi family next-door,” Thompson said.
The displaced include Olga Vega who, like Acosta,also lives in the building where the fire started.
“I live at 234 South Marshall Street, there for 17 years in my house, “ Vega said. I lost my apartment, I lost everything, what I had in my apartment.”
Hartford fire officials said at least one fire fighter was hospitalized for exhaustion.