It appears that cooking started a fire that affected around 80 apartments at 270 Laurel St. in Hartford on Monday night.
Dozens of residents, including some who get around by wheelchair, said they smelled smoke, then heard an alarm around 9 p.m.
Residents described the sounds of screaming as people fought through smoke to get out of the burning building.
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Officials said the fire started in apartment 2C. More than 50 firefighters spent close to an hour working to get the fire under control and no one was injured.
“We had an apartment complex fire start on the third floor, spread up into the fourth, got up into the roof. Fortunately no civilians and firefighters were injured,” Fire Chief Reginald Freeman said.
Tenants who live furthest from the scene of the fire were allowed back into the building, while a bus transported other residents from the scene to another place to stay.
The mayor went to the scene and praised efforts of firefighters and pledged to support the families.
“I just wanted to come out and tell them great job and say to all the folks affected that we’re going to do everything we can to help them out in the coming days, and hang in there,” Mayor Luke Bronin said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.