Kitchen sustains fire damage in New London condo blaze

Firefighters at the scene of a fire at a unit at the College Park Condominums complex at 19 Hawthorne Drive in New London Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Firefighters at the scene of a fire at a unit at the College Park Condominums complex at 19 Hawthorne Drive in New London Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

New London — Firefighters on Thursday afternoon quickly put out a blaze that damaged a 19 Hawthorne Drive condominium and left one child without Christmas presents — temporarily, at least.

Fire Chief Henry Kydd said the damaged condo was No. 116. It’s part of the College Park complex.

According to Kydd, firefighters were called to the fire at 12:27 p.m. Once on scene, they began an interior fire attack, quickly knocking down the bulk of the flames.

Kydd said most of the fire damage was in the kitchen, although some extended to the living room. The third floor, where the house’s bedrooms are located, additionally sustained some smoke and heat damage.

No one was home when the blaze began, Kydd said, but the condo owner did arrive at the scene to speak with fire Marshal Vernon Skau.

Skau’s investigation is continuing. The American Red Cross is assisting the occupants.

“I’m very proud of these guys,” Kydd said of the city firefighters. “With fires during the Christmas season, it always breaks our hearts when we see families affected.”

According to police union President Todd Lynch, presents intended for a 6-year-old resident of the home burned up in the blaze. When police Officer Deana Nott caught wind of that, Lynch said, she set to work to make it right. Nott gathered some toys from the police and fire unions' annual toy drive. Then she asked multiple city unions for donations and headed to Toys R Us.

Lynch said he learned of Nott's effort because his was one of the unions she reached out to.

Nott currently is suspended from the police department because of a 2016 incident in which she appeared to strike a handcuffed man in the face.

"So here, while she's suspended from the city, she's out shopping so a kid doesn't go without," Lynch said. "That's the type of person she is."

l.boyle@theday.com

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