Two firefighters were injured and six families evacuated when a three-alarm fire broke out at a building on Howard Avenue in New Haven Saturday morning.
The fire started at a home at 425 Howard Avenue just before 5 a.m. and spread to the buildings on either side of it.
Two firefighters were injured fighting the blaze and taken to the hospital for evaluation. Fire officials said one of those firefighters suffered burns to his neck.
Six families were evacuated - 21 adults and five children. With temperatures below freezing, some spent the morning staying warm in their cars, others standing on the sidewalk wrapped up in blankets.
Authorities say the home where the fire started was abandoned which likely allowed the flames to spread before anyone noticed. Although the home was abandoned, the Pallo family says they’ve seen someone come and go before and in fact they say there was another fire at the home earlier this year.
The flames reached above the roof and by the time firefighters were called to the scene it was too late to save the structure.
The third floor of the home collapsed and the fire spread to the homes on either side.
Fire officials said will be torn down today before it collapses even further and that the six families evacuated on either side of it may not be allowed to return.
Frigid temperatures posed a challenge for firefighters as they battled the blaze.
"Just walking down the street was dangerous as far as the slippage and what have you and firefighters have their gear, water gets on it can even change the volumes, it becomes very very difficult, very very hazardous for us," New Haven Assistant Fire Chief Orlando Marcano explained.
Beyond the cold temperatures, the assistant chief said power lines were also a challenge along with the wind.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.