Dozens Evacuated After New Haven Fire

Dozens of people were evacuated from two homes after a large fire broke out, destroying a New Haven house Sunday morning.

Firefighters battled a blaze at 153 Clay Street, trying to keep the flames from spreading to nearby homes. When crews arrived, they saw flames and heavy smoke coming from the second and third floor.

The fire appears to have started on the second floor, where there is significant damage and scorched siding visible from the outside. There was also some smoke damage to the home next door, so those residents will be able to return to their home.

Between 16 and 20 people were evacuated from the three-story home and about 10 to 14 were evacuated from the one next door, as the homes are so close together and the homes are made out of wood. Everyone who was evacuated was able to get out on their own.

One resident said that her second-floor neighbor told her he was lucky to escape.

"He said, 'I’m here by a miracle.' He said, 'I was smelling something under my bed, smelling something under my bed burning, but by the time I woke up,' he said the flames were all around the door of his room," Nilda Diaz, of New Haven, said.

Another home on the other side was vacant.

The fire did spread, but the other home only had minor smoke damage, fire officials said.

Crews got the fire under control quickly.

A neighbor who lives behind the home told NBC Connecticut she felt a "boom" and said that she saw the fire at 153 Clay Street when she opened the door.

"It was scary," Lissette Rodriguez said. "We thought it was all the street. It was very scary.”

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