Dozens of tenants are displaced after a fire ripped through an apartment building on Laurel Street in Hartford late Monday evening.
Officials said on Tuesday morning that cooking likely caused the fire at 270 Laurel Street just after 9 p.m. and some residents were trapped inside.
"I was one of the last people to get processed," Tony Little, a tenant, said.
For the next couple of days, Little and nearly 60 other residents, will be staying at the Super Eight in Hartford because of the fire.
"Some people got trapped upstairs and the firemen had to use the ladder. People were jumping out windows and stuff," Paul Davis, another resident, said.
Davis returned to the charred building where officials say more than 20 units are damaged.
After nearly an hour, multiple fire crews were able to control flames climbing from the third floor to the roof.
"Nightmare, all the flames and stuff," Davis said.
"It's a large building, but as large as it is, we are pretty much like a community," Little said.
Before tenants rushed out the burning building, most came together to ensure no one was left behind, he said.
“Even the guy who accidentally started the fire, we were helping him out too," Little said.
Residents are anxiously awaiting the fate of their building, but said they're relieved no was hurt and they are glad to know that neighbors stick together in times of panic.
“Even though we were all in shock and awe, we still were able hold together and knock on doors,” Little said.
Tenants said crews have allowed them to enter the apartment to collect what they can.
As for their stay at the motel, tenants said they will have to check out on Friday because the motel is booked for the weekend.