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Fire claims the life of a woman, leaves 12 homeless


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    NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (WFSB) — Investigators are trying to figure out what sparked a deadly fire in New Haven.

Crews responded to the scene on Saltonstall Avenue early Monday morning.

They said that while one woman, age 49, was killed, the situation could have been much worse if not for the bravery of firefighters.

“You just never know,” said Jordan Roman, a neighbor. “In the blink of an eye, you can lose the ones you love.”

When firefighters arrived, flames and heavy smoke came from the third floor of the multi-family home. Four people were trapped inside.

Firefighters used a ladder and pulled the four out of the building. Three of those victims survived. The fourth, however, lost her life.

“She was nice,” said Michael Randall, a friend of the victim. “Every time I needed anything, she was always there to give me money and talking to me giving me good advice. Last night she past away. It’s shocking.”

New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said he and his team were devastated.

“Every situation is unique and we are in the life-saving business, not the life-losing business,” Alston said. “So we are definitely working with firefighters and the family right now.”

The fire displaced 12 people from three families, including four children and some of the victim’s family members.

The American Red Cross helped with grief counsellors and found them a warm place to stay.

Of the three people who made it out of the home, Channel 3 was told they were all adults. Two of them were recovering at local hospitals. The third declined treatment.

State investigators said they will try to figure out how the fire started and where. The bulk of the damage appeared to have been done to the third and fourth floors.

Alston said the horrific situation really hit home for himself and every single New Haven firefighter.

“We’ve spoken to the other residents,” he said. “It’s a very tight community here. I don’t live far from here as well. As I said, our hearts go out to that family.”

Alston also said that the weather did create challenges for his firefighters, but they were still able to extinguish the flames quickly and save those three lives.

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