Three people were taken to the hospital and 25 were displaced after a discarded cigarette sparked a late-night fire at a Hamden apartment complex, officials said.
The fire started around 11 p.m. at the Aspen Glen apartments, at 318 Aspen Glen Drive, a popular home for students at nearby Quinnipiac University.
Hamden Fire Marshal Dennis Harrison said the fire was caused by a discarded cigarette and started on the first-floor patio. The flames spread to the second and third floors, and part of the roof collapsed, officials said.
"I just put on a light sweatshirt and moccasins, and I run outside and then I'm shivering for two hours and can't get in," said Theo Siggelakis, a senior at Quinnipiac who lives in the apartment building. "You see this humongous fire."
Icy conditions made it difficult to fight the fire, but the flames were under control in about an hour and no firefighters were injured.
Authorities said no one was seriously injured but three people were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
The rear side of the building was most heavily damaged and apartments there are uninhabitable, building officials said. Tenants spent the day clearing out their belongings and finding other places to stay.
Quinnipiac University said students affected by the fire will be given a room on campus.
"We're here for them," said John Morgan, a spokesperson for the university. "Students who want housing would have the opportunity to live up here on the York Hill campus."
Some students are staying at hotels, and property management is assisting other residents with housing.
"It's a very tough situation, but they're handling it the best they can," Siggelakis said. "They let me get in and get my stuff. I'm going to be able to live somewhere at Quinnipiac. They'll take care of me."
The American Red Cross is also helping.