[Updated] An early morning fire at 100 Kane St. in West Hartford caused the evacuation of 40 condominium units, and multiple units are uninhabitable.
By Ronni Newton
Updated, 7:30 p.m.
Power was restored at approximately 4 p.m. to the undamaged portion of the 100 Kane St. condominium building where a fire occurred early Tuesday morning.
West Hartford Fire Chief Greg Priest said that residents in units that were not damaged by fire, water, or smoke could begin to return home as of 8 p.m.
The American Red Cross, in collaboration with the town, set up a shelter at the Elmwood Community Center at 2 p.m. Tuesday, and the shelter will remain open until 10 a.m. Wednesday.
For details about the shelter operations, or other services being offered to impacted residents, click here.
As many as 100 people, adults and children, were evacuated from their residences early Tuesday morning from a serious fire that appears to have started on the third floor of an apartment-style condominium building in West Hartford.
Battalion Chief John Sokolowski said no one was injured as a result of the blaze, which was reported to the West Hartford Public Safety Dispatch Center at 2:47 a.m.
Police arrived on the scene and saw fire coming from the third story of the building, Sokolowski said, and fire crews arrived moments later.
Engine No. 1 was the first unit to arrive and noted heavy fire coming from the third floor.
According to Fire Chief Greg Priest, a second alarm was called for, and additional units from West Hartford, as well as mutual aid from Hartford, New Britain, and UConn fire departments assisted at the scene and with station coverage. American Medical Response (AMR) also responded.
Crews from Engine No. 1 were able to get to the fire floor and “get a line on the fire,” Sokolowski said, attacking it aggressively and knocking it down pretty quickly.
“Other fire units verified the evacuation of tenants from nearby apartments as well as ensuring the fire had not extended,” Priest said.
Sokolowski said there are 40 units in the four-story building, and while there is not a complete headcount of the exact number of residents displaced, “all have been accounted for.” He said there was one cat in the building that was evacuated safely.
There are about eight to ten units that were directly affected by the fire, as well as smoke and water, Priest said. Many of those units will be uninhabitable.
Units on the first and second floors, other than those directly below the unit where the fire started, had a smoky smell but were otherwise undamaged according to Sokolowski.
Fire alarms in the hallways were functional, and when fire crews arrived at the scene residents were in the process of evacuating “and were knocking on doors as they left,” Sokolowski said, to ensure that all residents were alerted.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and Assistant Fire Chief Mike Sinsigalli, who is the fire marshal, was on the scene Tuesday morning. Assistant Chief Hugh O’Callahan and Town Manager Matt Hart were also on the scene.
Residents were brought to a community center building in the complex, where representatives from the American Red Cross and West Hartford Social Services met with them to determine what type of assistance will be needed.
“West Hartford Fire appreciates the assistance of its mutual aid partners in mitigating this incident,” Priest said in an email.
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