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House fire leaves one dead in Norwich

NORWICH -- A fire in Norwich Wednesday afternoon left one person dead, and a neighborhood in shock.

David Wilbur

David Wilbur, a nearby neighbor, saw the flames erupt at 31 Bently Avenue around 3:00 p.m. He captured photographs of the flames pouring out of the first-floor windows. The flames reaching as high as the second-floor windows.

"I saw the flames literally coming out of all three windows on the bottom floor of the house. It was fully engulfed," Wilbur said.

Emergency crews quickly arrived on the scene. They battled the flames as they rose through the second and third floors of the multi-family home.

"The fire got into the roofline. The roof collapsed and we had to withdraw and go defensive," acting Norwich Fire Chief, Keith Wucik said.

Crews were able to contain the fire in an hour and fifteen minutes. They were able to rescue a dog from the third floor. Unfortunately, they found a victim at the back of the first floor.

Steven Young knew some of the people who lived in the home. He said a handicapped gentleman lived on the first floor. He fears he didn’t make it out.

"It went from basically 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes," Young said.

The flames still etched in the minds of those who witnessed it.

"What am I looking at? It was almost surreal because it was so bad," said Wilbur.

"It didn’t look like a normal fire. It looked like it was just angry," Young said.

The Red Cross is helping the eight people displaced by the fire. None of them were home when the fire started.

An investigation into what caused the fire is currently ongoing.

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