Investigators are trying to figure out what sparked a fire in a vacant Hartford home early Saturday morning.
Crews were called to the 600-block of Garden Street just before 3 a.m. The first fire crews on the scene were met by flames coming out of the back of the home’s roof.
“They made a quick stop initially on an interior attack, within 10 minutes our attic actually became fully involved,” said Deputy Chief Harry Tulier, Hartford Fire Department.
Flames shot into the night sky, out of the roof of 612 Garden Street. Although no one lived at the house, the fire scared the next door neighbors out of bed at 3 a.m.
“It was right close to us, like it was coming towards us on the third floor,” said Aneudy Rosario.
Rosario said the fire was so close they could smell the smoke inside their apartments and feel the heat when they stepped outside.
“I never want to see it again. I never want to see that again. It was scary,” said Rosario.
Fearing the flames would spread, ten people in three apartments evacuated the building next door and stood across the street for an hour-and-a-half.
“They kept telling us to move back, move back, move back. So, that’s how we ended up here,” said Rosario.
The unstable conditions inside forced crews to evacuate and fight the fire from two ladder trucks instead.
“Once we transitioned to a defensive attack we had it knocked down within 14 minutes,” said Tulier.
Crews were able to keep the flames from spreading to nearby buildings, but, stubborn hot spots kept crews on the scene for three hours, shutting down the road from Capen to Westland streets.
Authorities believe the fire started on the third floor. The cause remains under investigation.