About 30 firefighters responded to the Wednesday fire inside a Howe Avenue multifamily structure in downtown Shelton that sent one man to the hospital with serious burns and smoke injuries.
Members of the Echo Hose, Pine Rock Park and White Hills volunteer fire companies from Shelton were on-scene at 593 Howe Ave. as well as fire personnel from Derby, said Nick Verdicchio, Shelton Fire Department spokesman.
An unconscious man was pulled from the first-floor apartment and taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, Verdicchio said. (UPDATE: The victim died on Thursday morning from his injuries.) The initial call from help came at 5:13 p.m. on Jan. 22.
Firefighter in area saw the fire
Shelton firefighter Chris Jones first spotted the fire while leaving the nearby Boys & Girls Club, according to Verdicchio.
Jones went closer to check out the situation and “saw an orange glow in the back,” called fire dispatch for assistance, and then helped to evacuate four people from the second-floor apartment, Verdicchio said.
As Jones was about to enter the first floor, fire trucks pulled up and personnel began battling the blaze, according to Verdicchio.
Jones is well known in Shelton from his involvement in politics, having twice ran for mayor in recent years. He also is an active volunteer firefighter.
‘Aggressive interior attack’
“They made an aggressive interior attack,” Verdicchio said. “They found an unconscious male on the floor and carried him out to safety,” where the individual was immediately treated by EMS personnel and soon taken to the hospital. (UPDATE: The man later died from his injuries at Bridgeport Hospital.)
Verdicchio said initial information is that the fire was accidental and began in the rear of the first floor, in what is believed to be the living room of that apartment.
‘A great knockdown’
“They get a great job — just like a couple of weeks ago,” Verdicchio said of firefighters, in a reference to the massive Jan. 6 fire about a quarter mile south on Howe Avenue.
“They make a great knockdown,” he said.
No firefighters were injured although a few were evaluated due for exposure to cold and smoke.
A section of Howe Avenue between White Street and Brook Street was closed during firefighting efforts.
The Huntington Fire Company provided citywide coverage while the three other Shelton departments were at the scene.