Six families were forced from their apartments at the Deerfield Gardens and Sunset Gardens complex in Waterbury when a two-alarm fire broke out Tuesday afternoon.
According to Sandra Sattler, the director of property management for Carabetta Management, which owns the complexes on Midfield Drive, said the flames sparked around 1 p.m.
"I've never been through anything like this," said Jeannette Santiago, who had just settled into her new place. "It's brand new in there, and it's gone."
She and other residents stood in shock and watched their homes burn.
"I was washing a coffee pot getting ready to go to work," said Lori Salvatore, another resident. "It's unbelievable. Just unbelievable."
Six two-bedroom units were ravaged by heavy fire and smoke. Residents filtered back into their burned-out apartments late Tuesday evenings to salvage whatever belongings they could.
Sattler said the complex will be able to house the families in other apartments.
Working smoke detectors and firewalls were in place, according to officials. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Authorities said on Wednesday that a plumber's torce started the fire.