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New Haven Home Involved in Deadly Fire Had No Working Smoke Detectors: City Official

The New Haven multi-family home involved in Sunday's deadly fire, that killed two people, and left multiple others injured, including four firefighters, had no working smoke detectors at the time of the fire, according to a city official.

Firefighters responded to a fire at a home on West Street around 3:30 a.m.

According to fire officials, 16 people were inside of the three-story building when the fire broke out.

When crews arrived, firefighters said there was heavy fire coming out of the second floor and everyone was rescued within six minutes.

New Haven Fire Department Assistant Chief Orlando Marcano provides an update about the fatal house fire on West Street on Sunday morning.

"There's seven people on the first floor, three on the second and there were reported six on the third, which is where the jumpers were and the two fatalities," said New Haven Fire Department Assistant Chief Orlando Marcano.

Crews rescued two people in a narrow back staircase. Firefighters said the two people were brought out of the home and CPR was performed on them, however, they later died at the hospital. Their identities have not been released.

"The rear stairwell was very cramped, very small. It's tough for one firefighter to get out, let alone carrying two victims from the third floor and down so that made it very tough," Assistant Chief Marcano added.

One person who jumped off of the back of the building was unconscious, but is now in the hospital in stable condition and is talking, fire officials said. Two others jumped from the front of the home, but were not injured.

A neighbor said she heard screaming and then saw the flames coming from the home.

"I heard people screaming so loud. I start checking out the window, but I see nobody til I see the fire department come. So I came downstairs, I see a lot of flames coming out of the house. I see three people jumping out of the window--one from the third floor, two from the second floor," said Celia Guity, of New Haven.

Four firefighters were taken to the hospital for evaluation and are expected to be okay, according to fire officials.

Fire officials said one is having his or her shoulder looked at, another is having his or her back examined and another was taken to the hospital for elevated blood pressure and minor smoke inhalation. A fourth firefighter was also hurt in the fire.

New Haven 4th Wald Alder Evelyn Rodriguez said it's a building code violation for 16 people to live in a home of this size. 

According to Rodriguez, the New Haven Livable City Commission has been called to the house before for issues, but she did not specify exactly what they were.

There were either no smoke detectors or no working smoke detectors in the home at the time of the fire, Rodriguez added. She urged everyone to make sure they have working smoke detectors in their homes.

Officials have been trying to get ahold of the landlord, Rodriguez said, but have not been able to. 

The American Red Cross is helping those who were displaced. 

"The American Red Cross provided a packet, met with individuals one on one and informed them on how they could get housing for now, temporary, and then Livable Cities Initiative will intervene and further help them in terms of relocation," Rodriguez said. 

The State Fire Marshal is investigating to determine what caused the fire.

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