Fire consumes one home, damages others in New London
New London ― One home was destroyed and four others damaged on Monday in the historic Neptune Park neighborhood.
Firefighters were called out at 9:14 a.m. to find flames already had engulfed a 110-year-old wood-shingled home at 11 Mott Ave., New London Fire Chief Thomas Curcio said.
Flames were shooting from the windows, the porch was ablaze and heat from the fire had ignited the neighboring houses.
“It was ripping,” Curcio said.
Neighbor Carol Patterson said she was on an exercise bike in her home across the street at that time.
“All of a sudden this huge wave of intense heat came into my house,” Patterson said. “I said, ‘This can’t be from my workout.’”
She looked out to see the flames and immediately called 911.
Curcio said it was initially a two-alarm fire but he called for a third alarm to bring in more mutual aid after surveying the scene.
Homes on either side of 11 Mott Ave. ― 9 and 19 Mott Ave. ― were already burning and more were in danger of catching fire because of the breezy conditions, Curcio said. An additional challenge to firefighters was downed power lines in the vicinity of the burning home.
Mutual aid came from fire departments in Waterford, Groton, East Lyme, Montville and Norwich, among other places.
East Lyme, Waterford, City of Groton and Mystic River Ambulance provided mutual aid during the fire to respond to other emergencies and cover the city during the fire.
By the time the fire was brought under control after about 90 minutes, Curcio said five homes were impacted, including two that sustained heat damage such as broken windows and burned siding. The two Mott Lane homes on either side of 11 Mott Lane were severely damaged.
Curcio credited firefighters with quick work in containing a blaze that had the potential to spread even farther than it did.
“Everybody did a tremendous job. We could have lost an entire block here,” Curcio said.
It appears that the Mott Avenue homes that burned were not occupied at the time of the fire, and in some cases serve as summer homes for the owners, neighbors said. The Red Cross, in a statement, said it was providing emergency assistance to a family ― two adults and two children ― displaced by the fire. No injuries among homeowners were reported. One New London firefighter sustained a knee injury and was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital for treatment. He was later released.
Power was cut to the homes in the area and portions of Neptune Avenue and Pequot Avenue were closed.
Dozens of firefighters could be seen scrambling in and on top of the homes at 9 and 19 Mott Ave. while ladder trucks pumped water from above. Smoke from the fire could be seen from the Gold Star Memorial Bridge.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the New London fire marshal’s office and New London Police Department. Public records show 11 Mott Ave., which was built in 1909, is owned by Gwenn Roos of Wellesley, Mass.