Unattended candles led to a damaging fire at a Vernon apartment building Sunday morning, the town's fire marshal has determined.
Thirteen people were injured after the fire at the apartments on Union Street around 10:45 a.m.
When crews arrived, they said they found heavy fire on the second floor with several people hanging from the windows. Firefighters and police raised ground ladders to reach the residents and brought them to safety, officials said.
A total of 13 people sought treatment for injuries from the fire, many of which were transported to Rockville General Hospital. Fire officials said the injuries are mainly from smoke inhalation. Four of the injured were transported to Bridgeport Hospital for further treatment.
Those treated at Rockville General Hospital and two people who were transferred to Manchester Memorial Hospital were treated and later released from the hospital, according to crews.
“We were literally walking people across the street into the emergency department,” Director of Emergency and Risk Management Michael Purcaro said.
Additional information about their injuries was not available.
Fire officials said the fire was limited to the second and third floors.
Crews said the bulk of the fire damage was in two apartments, but residents of the building were displaced because of electrical and gas service being cut.
The Red Cross assisted 13 families, including 16 adults and two children who were displaced from the fire, according to a Vernon spokesperson.
The fire displaced residents of all 22 apartments, crews said.
The town's fire marshal, Dan Wasilewski, warned residents to extinguish candles when leaving a room or going to sleep.