Dozens of people were forced from their homes after a fire at a condominium complex in Stratford last week, and residents are still trying to figure out their next steps.
“It was a lot. Everything that I worked for all these years is gone,” said Rose Tinsley, who lived in the building at 685 Success Ave.
Video from a resident shows what some of the once homey units now look like five days after flames erupted. Debris covered the floors, the roof was destroyed by flames and powerful water hoses from the long fire fight. The property remains fenced off and a fire alarm inside still rings.
Tinsley lived in the complex for 18 years.
“In the long term, I don’t know. I have to take it day by day and see what’s going on with that,” she told NBC Connecticut.
Town leaders said donations for the dozens of displaced residents started pouring in over the holiday weekend.
“We all came together because we knew we had to help these people out,” said Stratford Public Safety Director Lawrence Chiccarelli.
The police station and nearby Sterling House have been holding donations while residents wait to return to their units to see if anything can be salvaged.
“It was very destructive and Stratford hasn’t had a fire this magnitude where so many people have been displaced at one time in at least the last 20 years that we know of,” Chiccarelli said.
It’s unclear whether anything will be saved from the property. But those who saw everything destroyed are hoping for the best.
“You can’t look backwards. You have to go forward. You just have to move forward. There’s nothing you can do at this point,” Tinsley said.
Chiccarelli said donations will be accepted for the residents for one more day. Some may be allowed back onto the property Tuesday to salvage whatever belongings they can find.