Three firefighters were hurt as they battled flames and oppressive heat in Norwich on Sunday.
The fire spread to two multi-family homes and now nearly 20 people need to find somewhere else to stay.
“I see the flames up in the skies. It was a nightmare. It was a nightmare,” said Angel Luciano of Norwich.
As two multi-family homes burned, the images don’t give you a sense of just how brutal the conditions were.
“It was 90 degrees and with the flames it was 120, 130. As I got closer to the area, it was just burning,” said Luciano. “The fire department in their uniforms and everything, oh man. It was a day.”
Our camera captured one of two firefighters being taken away for heat exhaustion while a third had a knee injury.
Firefighters rotated crews to fight the flames on Roath Street.
“We have to go to multiple alarms and we had to start calling in additional crews from outside of just our department,” said Battalion Chief Gregory Despathy of the Norwich Fire Department.
Many tried to find a shady spot for a break and to grab water to stay hydrated.
Authorities are now trying to figure how the fire started at one building, which then spread to the second one.
“Both buildings will probably be demolished. They are beyond repair at this point,” said Despathy.
Firefighters say five families - 19 people - are being affected by this fire. And now, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army have been called in to help.
Luciano said four members of his family lived in one of the apartments here.
Thankfully they and everyone else were able to get away.
“It was like a quick reaction. My nephew turned around and picked up my two little nieces and just ran out the door,” said Luciano.
“The fire, just boom, went up in flames. It was no chance to do anything. No paperwork, no nothing. Everything is gone. Everything.”