Connecticut fire kills four children in two-family house

Official says house is older construction with several concealed spaces, which allowed fire to spread rapidly

This still shows firefighters responding to the two-family house as the fire engulfed the whole structure on Quality Avenue, in Connecticut on January 3, 2023. — NBC Universal

A major fire erupted in a two-family house in Connecticut killing at least four children and wounding two others Tuesday according to the firefighters who saw the residence completely engulfed by the blaze.    

Among the injured, there was also an adult who was supervising the children in the house on Quality Avenue. The four deceased belonged to the same family, officials said.

Two of the three rescued people sustained minor injuries and one of them suffered major burns, according to the local authorities.

Officials noted that people who were living on the other side of the house quickly made their way out unhurt. 

Authorities said that when the blaze started, there were also pets inside. Three of the dogs were rescued while the puppies succumbed to injuries.

“It’s a tremendous loss for the town,” First Selectman Tim Keeney Keeney said, adding that “[firefighters] had difficulty getting into the house because the doors had things in front of them.” 

According to the officials, eight people were residing on the one side of the home.

Somers Fire Chief John Roache said: “Firefighters when they got inside quickly found two children. One died at the scene and the other died at Johnson Memorial Hospital.”

The superintendent of schools in which the dead children were in said the support will be provided as they grieve the loss.

Superintendent Sam Galloway, of Somers Public Schools, said in a statement: “Our Somers Public Schools community is dealing with this tragic event and our counseling staff will provide support to students throughout the week as needed. Our staff, students and families will support each other as we navigate this tragedy.”

“Incredible loss. A tragedy the town hasn’t seen forever that I’m aware of,” Keeney said, adding “I’ve lived here my whole life.”

Roache said: “One firefighter suffered burns while fighting the fire and was released after being treated.”

“The whole front of the house was very involved. The first floor is right up to the second floor. Limited access. Very hard to get in there. Crews did an extraordinary job trying to get in there and do some rescues. They did several grabs and got victims out,” Roache said.

Roache said the house is older construction with several concealed spaces, which allowed the fire to spread rapidly, and it took considerable effort to get the fire under control around 12:56am.

Authorities have commenced an investigation into the incident and ruled out any criminal activity causing the fire. 


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