Cigarette Led to 2-Alarm Meriden Apartment Fire: Officials

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com
    Fire torn through a Meriden apartment complex this morning.

    A massive two-alarm blaze at an apartment building at 73 Meeting House Ridge in Meriden around 3 a.m. likely started because someone put cigarette butts into a plastic bucket, according to the Meriden fire marshal.

    The fire that displaced around 40 people is being considered accidental.

    Some residents said they did not wake up until they heard the fire trucks outside early this morning and they rushed outside with only what they could quickly throw on their backs.

    Earl Coleman, a disabled veteran, relies on a wheelchair to get around and said he's grateful to police and firefighters who carried him out of his home.

    "I couldn't go down my ramp because that's where the fire was, so they picked me up, took me down the stairs, and set me down, went back into the apartment and got my manual wheelchair," he said.

    The fire appears to have started in a section of building 73, but it traveled across the roofs of other buildings.

    It took firefighters nearly an hour to completely douse the flames and residents are able to go into the complex leasing office to get warm.

    Mutual aid from surrounding towns was brought in to help. 

    The Solomon Organization, which owns the complex, said it is providing emergency supplies to help 38 people who were displaced find new apartments. 

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