New Britain

New Britain Apartment Fire Leaves About a Dozen Families Displaced

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Crews are investigating after a fire at an apartment complex in New Britain left about a dozen families with nowhere to stay.

"We saw smoke and a large fireball coming out of the apartment above us," David Neilander of New Britain said.

As flames shot out of the middle-floor apartment on Stanley Street, families rushed for the exit.

Neilander and his family live in the unit right below and they said when they heard the fire alarm, they grabbed what they could and ran.

"I heard some people shouting out here out front so I went to my window to see what was going on," Juanita Ortiz, who also lives at the Ellis House Apartments, said.

Ortiz said she saw people yelling for everyone to get out.

The New Britain Fire Department said when firefighters arrived, heavy fire from the middle floor had already extended to the floor above.

"People were out on the back balconies. They couldn't get out on the hallways. As I understand, a couple people may have jumped from the first-floor balcony," Deputy Chief Richard Frohock said.

As firefighters worked, neighbors could only stand and watch, wondering what they'll eventually find inside.

"Really worried we were going to lose a lot of our things, our possessions, we have small pets in there still we think they're okay," Neilander said,

Neilander said he'll be able to stay with family tonight, but wonders about the days and weeks ahead.

"All of us that live in the apartment don't have a lot going for us monetarily, so I think a lot of us don't have places to go," Neilander said.

Despite the damage to the multi-story building, firefighters said no one was injured.

The Red Cross is assisting families who were displaced by the fire.

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