Firefighters battle Bristol blaze and fatigue as heat affects first responders

BRISTOL — Scorching temperatures made fighting a blaze in Bristol that much more difficult Tuesday morning.

Part of the home is now a charred shell, as firefighters battled the flames and the heat. A family of four lived in the two-story colonial. Neighbors said it’s a couple and their two kids and they are all safe.

“It’s scary,” remarked Jamie Perchiano of Bristol.

Firefighters battled the hot flames and their own fatigue as the mid-day sun beat down on first responders. Viewer video sent to FOX61 shows the home at 366 Village Street in Bristol as it was still burning. Neighbors gathered to console the family, who luckily escaped before anyone got hurt.

Bristol Deputy Chief said that battery jumper cables were being used at the time of the car fire in the garage.

“Oh it’s just incredible,” remarked Bruce Brown of Bristol. “They had such a beautiful house. They had a theater room in there. The house was gorgeous. And I just can’t believe what I am looking at now.”

The family of four is being helped by the Red Cross of Connecticut with food, clothing and a place to stay.

The two-alarm fire started just before 11 o’clock Tuesday morning. Chief Jay Kolakoski said a car in the garage caught fire. Flames quickly spread to the garage itself, and the attic above.

“This fire was much more intense due to the conditions outside today so they were doing one air bottle, coming out and we’ve had them in rehab since then,” explained Bristol Fire Chief Jay Kolakoski.

Firefighters rotated in and out. More manpower was brought in from Southington and Plainville.

“Today is a very hot day,” said Kolakoski. “High heat index. It taxes the firefighters very very quickly. That’s why we called for a second alarm and additional mutual aid companies so quickly.”

Firefighters attacked the flames from the outside initially, then were sent inside — but they quickly pulled out as the fire weakened the structure.

“It’s like 94-degrees out now, and it’s just going to get worse. And the humidity. I feel bad for the firemen,” said Bruce Brown. That’s when the decision was made to fight the fire from the air as ladder trucks aimed their water cannons below.

It’ll be up to the state fire marshal to determine the exact cause of the fire. The building inspector was on scene checking to see if the rest of the house is salvageable. And Eversource was also on scene to shut off the utilities so firefighters could do their job safely.