NEW HAVEN –Two people are dead after an early morning fire closed West Street in New Haven.
“In our neighborhood, a tragedy like this with two deaths is a real wake up call,” said Howard Boyd
Neighbors were woken up in more ways than one. A two-alarm fire broke out at 3:30 A.M. on the second floor of 150 West St. trapping six people on the third floor. Neighbors recall hearing banging and shouts for help.
Firefighters rushed up the back stairs to the third floor to save those trapped from the heavy smoke and flames. Two were carried out by firefighters, the others jumped for their lives. One even landing on a firefighter.
“One person jumped out of the rear. Two people jumped from the front of the building and onto the roof of the small out cove. They are fine,” said Assistant New Haven Fire Chief Orlando Marcano
The two people carried out were rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital where they were pronounced deceased. Two other residents and three firefighters were taken to the hospital for injuries. One resident is in stable condition while the other was treated for minor injuries.
The firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation and back and knee pain. All three were later released in good health.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the building but the second floor took heavy damage displacing the 16 people who lived there.
“Absolutely not. They will not be able to come into the home as I’ve been instructed until further notice,” said Evelyn Rodriguez of the New Haven Board of Alders.
Family members of those displaced came running to the scene.
“Right now they’re really debotic," said Boyd. "They’re looking to find answers.”
One of those families had two relatives on the third floor but left without answers as the State Fire Marshal investigates into the cause of the fire.
New Haven’s Director of Emergency Operations says the building was in a code violation for having 16 people live in the home. There were also no working smoke detectors inside.
“My prayers go out to the families who lost two in there and I ask our community to come together and pray for this,” said Boyd.
The Red Cross is helping displaced residents find a place to stay this evening. The names of those injured have not been released.