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    Police-Fire Reports
    Saturday, March 02, 2024

    New London resident credits late-night gaming for escape from fire

    Several residents were displaced after house fire on Pleasant Street in New London on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. (John Penney/The Day)
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    New London ― Wellington Rosario said his penchant for early-morning gaming likely averted a tragedy on Friday when a fast-moving fire raced through the two-family residence he shares with his young siblings.

    Rosario, 18, said he was playing video games at approximately 2 a.m. inside his 24 Pleasant St. home when he heard the distinctive chirp of a smoke detector.

    “I looked around and went upstairs where another family lives and saw smoke and a room on fire,” he said. “I yelled for everyone to get out and when back downstairs to get my family safe.”

    At the time of the fire, his grandmother and three young sisters were at home. He said he saw seven or eight people rush out from the structure’s second floor.

    “I called 911 twice,” Rosario said. “Our floor isn’t too bad, except for a lot of smoke and water damage, but the second floor looks bad.”

    Battalion Chief Michael Leonard said crews were dispatched to the fire at 2:20 a.m. and were greeted by heavy fire on the second floor that had extended to the attic.

    The residence’s upper floor appeared heavily damaged Friday afternoon with blackened timbers holding up a charred section of attic. The siding on an adjacent home was warped and melted.

    Fire Chief Thomas Curcio said one firefighter suffered a minor burn battling the two-alarm blaze. The firefighter was transported to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

    Leonard said the fire marshal’s office is investigating and no cause has yet been released. The six-bedroom residence is owned by Jeffrey Jimenez, according to city property records.

    The Red Cross is helping seven families ― nine adults and four children ― affected by the fire, the organization stated in a news release.

    Rosario moved into the 124-year-old, two-family residence in 2019. He said he and his family will stay with an aunt who lives a few streets away until they can figure out their next steps.

    “I’m glad I was awake,” he said Friday afternoon, after returning to look at the damage. “Because when I do sleep, I’m really out.”


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