Six people from a large extended family are displaced after a fire broke out at a Winchester Avenue home in New Haven.
A family that lived at the home for more than 40 years was inside 922 Winchester Avenue when the fire broke out in a bedroom at about 3:15 a.m., according to a family member who said he tried to put out the flames but that it spread too fast so he focused on getting his family out. He alerted his family members when he couldn't extinguish it on his own and they got out of the building before fire crews arrived.
"I didn’t have time to be scared. I just grabbed my nephew and got out," resident Charles Mitchner said. "I didn’t have time to be scared."
Five people were inside at the time and one person wasn't home when the fire ripped through the residence. The fire destroyed much of the upper floor of the home, where the fire began.
The New Haven Fire Department said that everyone has made it out safely, including an elderly woman and a small child.
"As soon as the water hits the ground, it ices up. There’s heavy snow," New Haven Battalion Chief William Gould said. "Members are trying to make perimeter of the building. To the rear, there’s at least a foot of snow in the rear.
Fire officials said that Monday's cold weather and the latest snowfall made fighting the fire especially tough. It took about three hours to put the fire out.
"The main thing is everyone is out safely," family member Gina Mitchner said, adding that seeing the house burn was difficult. "You can replace a house, but you can't replace a life."
The American Red Cross is providing assistance to the family.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Winchester Avenue has reopened after it was closed for several hours.