Seventeen residents in New Haven are now displaced after a multifamily home on Farren Avenue went up in flames.
The fire chief said there was one victim, a female, who suffered from second degree burns. She was sent to Bridgeport Hospital.
The fire happened around 4 p.m. Friday, when witnesses reported hearing an explosion.
Leonel Quinones was preaching at a nearby Barber Shop when he heard the explosion.
“I started telling people, ‘Hey, people, get out. Move, run, run, run,’ ” he said.
While Quinones was helping people, he came across a woman, pleading for him to find a loved one. He then rushed up to the building and called on people to evacuate.
“As I’m going through some of the guys were coming down,” he said. “I helped some of the people get out. I started yelling at the top of my lungs, ‘Everybody get out. Everybody get out. Everybody get out.’ ”
Everyone did get out. Fire officials said 17 people lived inside the multifamily home. Four were home at the time of the fire. One woman suffered second degree burns from her face down to her legs.
Muhammad Choudary knew the woman. The two shared the bottom floor of the three story home.
“The fire started on the first floor. It started in her home, and I’m just beside her,” he said.
Choudary said five families lived inside the home.
He, too, heard an explosion.
“I heard a blast from my room and even chips of paint came down,” he said.
Witnesses believe it may have been a gas explosion, but at this point the fire department is not confirming that; however, they do believe there was some kind of blast.
“You could see there was structural damage to the building on our arrival indicating that something forced those walls out of there and again we don’t know what caused that,” said New Haven Fire Chief Michael Grant.
The fire is still under investigation.
Displaced residents are receiving assistance from the Red Cross.