A fire was sparked during renovation of a three-family home in West Hartford Monday afternoon.
By Ronni Newton
Flames and smoke were visible from third floor windows when the The West Hartford Fire Department responded to 140 Newington Rd. on Monday afternoon.
Battalion Chief John Sokolowski said that the dispatcher received a report of a structure fire around 12:45 p.m. Monday.
The three-story, three-family home had just been sold, and no one was living there while the property was under renovation. According to town records, the 140-142 Newington property was sold to Quinton Properties LLC on April 5.
The first units to arrive on the scene were told by workers who had been in the building when the fire started that they had been “sweating the pipes and it got away from them,” Sokolowski said.
The workers evacuated and told fire officials that no one was in the building, but a primary search was conducted to ensure it was vacant, said Sokolowski. There were no injuries.
Most of the damage was to the third floor, including the roof, and was extensive, Sokolowski said.
The fire was knocked down within 15 minutes and under control within 30 minutes, Sokolowski said. All West Hartford units responded.
“The first units were very aggressive,” said Sokolowski. “They made it to the third floor very quickly.”
The residence, built in 1918, had balloon construction, and firefighters remained on the scene to do an overhaul and ensure that no fire remained in the walls.
David Lemkuil said he was driving west on New Britain Avenue near the railroad bridge and could see the smoke. Flames were visible when he drove down Newington Road.
A fire official said that the previous owner had been cited for fire code violations.
The fire remains under investigation.
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