71 Hartford Residents Displaced by Overnight Fire

Seventy-one Hartford residents were forced out of their homes by an overnight fire, officials said Monday afternoon.

Fire broke out at an apartment building on Ward Place early Monday. Firefighters were up against heavy fire and smoke conditions as they worked to rescue occupants from the upper floors.

Fire officials said when firefighters arrived six to eight people were hanging from windows on the upper floors and had to be rescued.

No one was seriously hurt but one person was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

"It could have been much worse...with the weather conditions...with the time of day...most people are sleeping at this time...it could have been tragic," said Hartford Fire Capt. Raul Ortiz.

All of the residents were taken to the McDonough School on Hillside Avenue, which was set up as an emergency shelter. The Red Cross was called in to assist and has opened a shelter at Pope Park. Currently 55 people are staying at the shelter.

The fire appears to have started on the first floor, officials said. Fire officials determined the fire was accidental and due to a faulty electrical issue. 

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