One Bethel resident was taken to the Bridgeport Burn Unit and three firefighters were taken to the hospital after fire broke out early this morning at 182 Greenwood Ave. in Bethel, a building that houses apartments and stores.
When firefighters responded to the building the historic Village district around 1 a.m., they found fire on second floor.
The Bethel resident who was injured was in a second-floor apartment, where the fire started, according to Bethel Fire Chief Scott Murphy. He suffered very serious injuries and was initially taken to Danbury Hospital, then moved to the Bridgeport Burn Unit.
Bethel and Stony Hill firefighters, as well as several mutual aid companies, responded to the scene.
“They did an outstanding job because this is a very old building. It’s about 150 years old, a lot of dry wood in this thing and it had the potential to take out the entire block,” Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said. “So the fact that only a couple of apartments were seriously damaged is an amazing job by our firefighters. So I’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”
The fire has displaced eight families, including 10 adults and five children, and shut down at least two businesses, including the Giggling Pig Art & Party Studio.
Hannah Perry, who owns the art studio, said she plans to relocate across the street in The Crossing.
"It's a lot to take on, having to relocate so quickly," she said. "We're just grateful to the community for reaching out to us and all of our customers who are supporting us."
“You will see people rally around this community and the folks that were displaced almost immediately. It’s happening already,” Knickerbocker said.
The three firefighters sustained minor injuries. Two suffered smoke inhalation and one sustained a hand injury when he cut his hand on glass.
Greenwood Avenue is open, but the fire department urges people to use caution in the area.