6 hurt in multifamily house fire in New Milford
NEW MILFORD — Charlie Lara was exhausted — and still kind of in shock — on Thursday, hours after an early morning fire drove him from his multifamily house.
“I haven’t really slept,” said Lara, 30, who lived with two roommates on the top floor of the Housatonic Avenue house.
Lara said he woke up to a bunch of footsteps, movement and beeping.
“I don’t know what the beeping was and I don’t know what came first — it’s all blurred together,” he said. “I started to get worried, so I got up and saw what looked to me like fire through the crack [of a door].”
Lara started trying to grab some clothes, he said, but his roommate insisted they get out of the house.
“It was just black everywhere,” he said. “I got out. Luckily everybody was OK.”
The two-alarm blaze at 101 Housatonic Ave. was called in around 2 a.m.
Eleven people occupied the 2,600-square-foot home, police said. All managed to get out before the fire intensified, but six were hospitalized with smoke inhalation and minor burns.
Lara said his two roommates were taken to Danbury Hospital and four bottom-floor tenants — two adults and two children — were taken to New Milford Hospital.
None of the injuries were life-threatening, police said.
All three New Milford fire companies responded to the scene, and Brookfield and Danbury sent mutual aid. The house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived and it took several hours to bring the fire under control.
The fire started in the back of the house, New Milford Deputy Fire Marshal Kevin Reynolds said, but the exact area of origin has not yet been determined.
Connecticut State Police State Fire Marshal investigators could be seen on the property hours after the fire broke out, trying to determine the source and cause of the blaze.
Reynolds said the state has more resources and “usually help out with the investigation part” of a major fire.
Although none were initially found, three smoke detectors were later discovered under a collapsed ceiling inside the house.
Lisa Backus contributed to this story.