nbc connecticut

Neighbors Help Woman, 90, Escape Hamden Apartment Blaze Through Window

A woman in her 90s is in the hospital Sunday after jumping from her second-floor window with the help of neighbors to escape a fire that ravaged a Hamden, Connecticut, apartment complex and displaced about a dozen people.

Hamden firefighters received a call about the fire at Dogwood Hill Apartment Homes at 200 Evergreen Avenue between 2 and 3 a.m. One resident captured footage in a video shared with NBC Connecticut.

About seven or eight units were affected by the fire and some had water damage. The fire left four of the units unliveable and displaced at least 12 people.

Many of the residents were asleep at the time of the fire and the fire alarms didn't go off, according to Michael Lenson, one of the displaced residents. But he was awake so he banged on his neighbors' doors to alert them.

Lenson and other neighbors helped a 90-year-old woman escape before firefighters arrived, according to neighbors. She was taken to the hospital to be treated for leg injuries sustained from her drop to the ground, but she's expected to be okay, according to fire officials.

"She kicked out her screen, her window screen, and then she hung her leg out and we grabbed it, and we helped carry her down," Lenson said. "She kind of jumped and we caught her. She was kind of hurt and she went to the ambulance, and that's all I know so far."

Another neighbor who helped the elderly woman down said she jumped out the window.

"I run out, and I ring everyone’s doorbell to get them out, and the woman in the apartment where it started, she was – we had to catch her," resident Matt Creegan said. "She had to jump out the window, we had to catch her."

Another man, 28, who helped wake up neighbors by knocking on doors injured his shoulder in the process, but he told NBC Connecticut that he hasn't yet sought medical care.

Fire officials did not identify either of the injured parties.

It's unclear where the fire started.

The apartment building is located on a steep, narrow cul-de-sac and the apartments affected in the fire were on a hairpin turn, making access difficult for the fire trucks.

The American Red Cross responded to help displaced residents, one of whom said he just moved in Thursday and lost everything.

The fire remains under investigation and the cause has not been determined at this time.

Contact Us