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2-Alarm Fire Damages Former New Haven Home of Walter Camp

Firefighters responded to the scene of a two-alarm fire at 1303 Chapel Street in New Haven Wednesday morning.

Firefighters in New Haven said the fire started around 8 a.m. Wednesday in the three-story, wood frame Victorian structure.

Officials say several engines were called to assist the working fire said to be on the third floor of the property.

The building was the one-time home of Yale legend and "Father of American Football," Walter Camp, according to several publications on the property.

They say no one was inside the home at the time and no injuries were reported. The house, built in 1900, had been recently purchased by a developer and was under renovation, according to Fire Chief John Alston.

As captain of Yale’s rugby team, Walter Camp tweaked the rules of the English game, introducing concepts such as the line of scrimmage and the quarterback position. Camp was born in New Britain.

He also established American football’s system of downs and points, the number of players per side, tackling below the waist and other now familiar rules.

Camp also helped create what is today the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or the NCAA, which governs college sports.

He died in 1925. A monument at Yale’s football stadium commemorates Camp’s contributions to sports.

The third floor of the New Haven house collapsed in the blaze. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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